Tag Archives: welsh

Tuesday 27th September 2022 – NOT VERY MANY …

beach donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… photos today. And when you look at the photo of the beach down towards Donville les Bains you’ll see why.

When I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland I was almost swept away in a rainstorm and at one point I was even thinking of giving up and going back home. However I trudged wearily and wetly on around my circuit.

So providing that I haven’t caught pneumonia or something else and don’t pop my clogs I’ll tell you all about my day.

And as usual, when the alarm went off at 07:30 it was a struggle to leave my stinking pit. And after the medication I came back in here to revise my Welsh ready for my lesson.

Mind you, I need not have bothered because it was a pretty gruesome lesson. It didn’t go according to plan at all and I made rather a mess of things. Somehow I’ve not been able to get to grips with things since we started back and that’s quite depressing.

After the lunchtime fruit I’ve been organising a few things. There’s a little something simmering away on the back burner and I need to prepare for it. and so I’ve been dragging stuff out of cubby holes and that sort of thing today

Another thing that I’ve been doing is checking all of the electric stuff and making sure that it’s fully-charged. It’s twice this week that I’ve been caught with my batteries flat.

windsurfer beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And that took me up to the time when I usually go for my afternoon walk.

It’s no surprise that there was almost no-one down there on the beach. There was just one person out there at the water’s edge eyeing the waves but I was more interested in this guy here.

Al dressed up for the wind-surfing complete with board, but he’s on his way back to the steps up to the Rue du Nord. Obviously the storm was far too much even for him.

It was certainly far too much for me and as I said, I was in half a mind to turn round and go back home.

However, I carried gamely on, not that it did me any good at all because I couldn’t see a thing out there. There was just one person running around on the lawn and that was that. There wasn’t even anyone on the bench at the cabanon vauban..

briscard chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And so I pushed on along the path on the other side of the headland towards the port to see what was going on there.

And yet more excitement in the chantier naval again today. The only boat that remains in there today is Briscard. The other two, Gerlean and Chant des Sirenes, have now gone back into the water.

Not that this is a good day to be going back into the water. I certainly wouldn’t want to be out there today, not in a 25-ton fishing vessel anyway. We would have been OK on a 12,000 tonne vessel like THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR

And thinking about that has got me going again, hasn’t it? High time I hit the frozen north. What actually brought that to my mind was how cold and wet and windy it was. It actually felt like the Arctic standing there today.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Today is usually the day that one of the freighters from Jersey comes into port.

And there’s a huge pile of freight waiting on the quayside to be picked up as you can see, but this isn’t really the kind of weather that you would expect to see one of them struggle into port.

The two lorries there are quite interesting though. The other day we saw two refrigerated vans parked back-to-back with their doors opened. Today, there are two refrigerated artics doing the same thing.

It must be some kind of ritual, I suppose.

blocked street rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But there’s something going on here in the Rue du Port right now.

There was something in the news this morning about the bus routes being closed this weekend and this is probably why. There’s some kind of concert taking place by the looks of things and they are busy setting up the stage.

Last year, I vaguely remember something about this so I’ll have to look through the old records to find out.

Back here I had a coffee and then had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. This was another one of these dreams where I had all of my work in a total mess so I was planning on retiring. I had my German homework to do but I hadn’t done it and I hadn’t done the next lot. The tutor started to harass me about my German. I couldn’t make up my mind whether to drop it or not. I explained that I was in a really bad place in my head at the moment. This wasn’t really the time but she kept on insisting. She started to talk about how badly she’d been done by some people. The football team that she’d trained for a football match who had let her down. This conversation started off being about me and my homework very quickly became a conversation all about her. I felt even more isolated while this was going on than I did before.

And I also have the very, very strong feeling that Zero was around last night too, but there was nothing on the dictaphone about that. That’s bizarre.

The rest of the day has been spent doing a load of washing and carrying on with what I was doing before I went out.

Tea was a burger on a bap with the last of the potatoes and then I had another meal to cook because there was still some stuff left in the fridge that needed to be eaten.

So now I’ve written my notes I’m off to bed. I’ve forgotten all about a football match tonight which was sad, and I have a busy day tomorrow so I’m not going to be hanging around for long.

Tuesday 13th September 2022 – THAT WAS HORRIBLE!

Quite the worst Welsh lesson that I have ever had. I couldn’t remember a thing and it all went from bad to worse.

Having a lay-off for three months or so was clearly the wrong thing to do, but unfortunately there didn’t seem to ba ny other way to keep going during the Summer break. That’s something to which I ought to attend in the future.

Right now though, I’m worrying about the present.

Going to bed was rather later than I was hoping so I didn’t have too much sleep. And compared with the last couple of days it was rather a lethargic raising of the dead when the alarm went off.

When the alarm did go off I was talking to some people about someone who was in a harbour somewhere along the coast over in the Channel Islands. I’d only just started this when the alarm went off and spoilt my journey.

Actually making a start on my Welsh revision was even more lethargic than leaving the bed, although at least I didn’t suffer the indignity of falling asleep. Finally, grabbing hold of my coffee and fruit bun I went for the disaster that was my lesson.

What made it worse was that there were only 4 of us today rather than the usual dozen or so. Consequently we were under much more pressure and there was nowhere to hide when you are constantly in the spotlight.

This afternoon I finally caught up with the guy with whom I needed to speak about this weekend and, regrettably, it’s not possible to involve myself in it. It was an extremely long shot but if you don’t ask, you won’t get.

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

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022As usual, my walk took me across the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

There weren’t all that many people down there this afternoon. The good weather hadn’t arrived today so it was much more like a mid-September day with a heavy overcast and a wind.

The tide was well out again today so those people who had actually managed to go down there had plenty of room to spread out. But surprisingly, there wasn’t anyone up at this end of the beach having a scratch around for shellfish.

No-one flexing their mussels today, you might say.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Nevertheless, there were plenty of people out there on the rocks this afternoon.

Not scratching around with pèche-à-pied instruments but actually brandishing a rod and line from the rocks. In fact, almost every rock down there had a fisherman perched thereupon.

And this isn’t our usual spec at the end of the headland either there wasn’t any room out there for any more fishermen. This lot were down the northern side of the headland.

And, as you might expect, we didn’t see anyone pull anything out of the water this afternoon. Not that anyone was expecting it.

ship english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The view out at sea this afternoon was quite miserable. But the view down the coast was so much better.

The headland at Cap Fréhel was quite visible this afternoon, even with the naked eye, but strangely we couldn’t see the lighthouse at the end. There was something out there that I could see so I took a photo with the aim of enhancing and enlarging it when I returned home.

Back here, when I had a closer look, I could see that it wasn’t the lighthouse. It’s actually a large ship, a blue one. Unfortunately I’ve not been able to identify it.

There was nothing in or around the port of St Malo that might have corresponded, but it could be a serviceship for the proposed offshore wind farm there.

people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022and so I carried on with my walk around the headland.

Fighting my way through the throngs of the people too. There might have been only a few people down on the beach this afternoon but there were plenty of others around and they were all up here walking around.

And it looks as if there are a couple of new people who have rented one of the apartments in our building because there was one of the occupiers showing them around out here, explaining how the buses and the refuse collection works.

And it’s all of these temporary lets via the Internet that are killing the accommodation possibilities in these seaside resorts.

cabanon vauban person on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There wee crowds everywhere up here on the cliff path and lawn this afternoon.

Even down on the bench by the cabanon vauban. There was someone else down there with his backpack and his bottle of water looking around at what was going on down there. Fishermen and that ship that I’d seen a little earlier.

Not much else though. No-one is going out right now with the tide being as far out as it is. I can see me having to change my timetable in order to capture a little more of the action when the boats are going out and coming back in.

joly france belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022From there I walked around the path on the other side of the headland down to the port.

It looks as if the summer season is dying out right now because this afternoon we have two of the three ferries moored up over there this afternoon. There is Belle France and there is the newer one of the two Joly France ferries with its windows in “portrait” format.

No sign yet of Victor Hugo though. She ought to be coming back pretty soon because later on in the week she has some work booked, running out the last ferries of the year to St Helier.

It goes without saying that I’m quite disappointed with the ferry service to the Channel Islands. Half a dozen trips per month, and just in the summer season too, and the service isn’t going to last all that long.

les poulbots unknown pierre de jade briscard chant des sirenes massabielle le styx chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile, there were things that I needed to check in the chantier naval

Yesterday we saw the portable boat lift hovering around over Peccavi looking as if she was about to be put back in the water. Well she’s not there now, the ground’s all flat. And in her place is the trawler Pierre de Jade.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we know a lot about her because she was marooned in the chantier naval for quite a long period of time.

There’s another change too. Pescadore has gone back into the water too and her place has now been taken by a trawler that unfortunately I don’t recognise. She’s switched off her AIS transmitter so I can’t pick up a signal to tell me who she might be.

Time for another reconnoitre, I reckon.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Before I go back home I had a look down into the inner harbour.

Shtandart hasn’t come back yet but Marité is there in port. That’s another sign that the Summer season is drawing rapidly to a close.

So another day during which I managed to make a complete tour of the headland after my fall a couple of weeks ago. But I was decidedly unsteady on my feet today and I had a few wobbles. I don’t think that I’m in much shape to go anywhere really.

There xas some chocolate milk today for a mid-afternoon drink, and then I had a good listen to the dictaphone to find out where i’d been during the night.

I started off on a ferry going across the Gulf of St Lawrence somewhere. There were all these strange goings-on happening in the water but that was all that I remember. I can’t actually remember anything about this dream.

And later I had a house with a big front yard, a piece down the side and planty of room at the back. It was looking like a scrapyard with bits and pieces everywhere. Cars and cars etc. I started one evening trying to tidy up the place. By the time dawn came up there were only a couple of cars and a car bonnet that needed to be moved. I’d installed a sign outside the house that pointed to “Eric”. I’d made arrangements to build a sign so that people could see that it was here where I lived and that I had cars and everything. I programmed the sign so that if you typed up the name it came up with another. For some unknown reason that function didn’t work. I couldn’t make it change automatically. But the first sign that I mentioned was still out there. Liz and Terry popped by. They saw what was going on so they came for a chat. They had a look around and asked what this sign was for on the street. I couldn’t think so I said that it was a bed-and-breakfast. She said that I wasn’t going to have many people in here. I said that it’s basically for people driving past who want somewhere to stay for the night. If they came past here late in the evening they would never make it to the coast. She had a look and the place was all untidy. She said that she couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to stay here. It became later and later and they decided that they were going to stay. I had a little giggle to myself with Liz saying that at one time she’d never want to sleep in a caravan but here they are, they’d actually bought a caravan. I went outside to finish off. A Cavalier, the type from 1984 turned up, a beige one, Y-registration. It was all smashed in down one side. Behind it an elderly Jaguar or Daimler stretch limousine came along. The guy in the Cavalier went to exit and enter this Jaguar thing and drive away with the driver. I went to have a look. This Cavalier was actually a Private Hire vehicle complete with plate but it was all smashed in down one side, far worse than any one that I’d ever had and I couldn’t understand at all why it would still be working.

During the night I’d also been out doing a coach trip to some kind of market or trade fair. All these passengers on board and we were wandering around here. Someone knew half the stalls and told me where to go to try on a leather jacket. As the crowds were drifting away I went round. Most of the stuff had been packed away and there was only one rail. I tried on a leather jacket and I happened to like it so I walked away with it without paying, wearing it. No-one said anything, no-one chased after me. I ended up walking right out of the market ready to go home. I ended up back at the Leese’s. She had noticed the time and thought that I was going to be hours late because when she’d seen me she was sleeping. She thought that this was a bad sign. If course Iw as soon awake, soon tidied up, soon had everything ready and soon back. She was surprised. There was another job to do that they didn’t think I’d be ready for. That was another coach trip. She had the paperwork ready and gave me a portable ‘phone. She started to explain it to me how it worked, the numbers and what the numbers meant and so on. of course I knew all this thing really well with having used mobile phones before but she insisted on showing me like some 5 year old baby would be shown something. It was all extremely patronising

Tea tonight was a taco roll with rice and veg. And as I expected, the stuffing was quite powerful after marinading for 24 hours. Perhaps I ought to leave it for longer and see what it would be like then.

So, bedtime after a really disappointing day – for the Welsh lesson and for my little weekend project too. But as one door closes, another one opens and we’ll have to see where that one takes us

But that’s tomorrow. Here’s hoping for a better day.

Tuesday 23rd August 2022 – THAT WAS EXHAUSTING!

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And while you admire several photos of the piles of waterborne traffic that was out there today, I’ll tell you all about it.

This morning I had a conversation class with my Welsh group, from 11:00 until midday. And I was the only student in the class. There were just me and the tutor.

And to my, your and probably the tutor’s surprise, I managed 53 minutes of conversing in Welsh before I ran aground. And that must be quite remarkable. And by the time that it finished I was totally wasted

It wasn’t particularly good, but it does go to prove that I can talk a load of total rubbish in many different languages, not just in English.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Not that I was feeling very much like it because it was another kind-of late night.

As usual, something interesting came up on the radio just as I was about to go to bed and so I stayed up to listen to it. I can’t remember what it was now but it must have been something interesting, like an Agatha Christie or a Paul Temple.

When the alarm went off at 07:30 I was away on my travels but the moment that it went off, the details of the voyage evaporated and I can’t remember anything at all.

It was a slow start to the day while I tried to gather my wits and organise myself ready for my chat. And then grabbing a strong coffee and a fruit bun, I switched on the portable computer that has the webcam and the Zoom extension.

monaco du nord II baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022After the lesson was over I finished off the coffee and sighed with relief for quite a while, following which I had a listen to the dictaphone to see if there was anywhere else that I’d been that I’d recorded..

Firstly, I was Christmas. I was up in my room working and the rest of the family were in the house. When I went downstairs to fetch something I found that they had all had Christmas dinner. Everything was spread out all over the table mostly and the cake was mostly eaten etc. I wanted to know what was happening. I was told “you should have come down”. I replied “no-one told me when it was going to be ready”. They all seemed to be extremely disinterested so I called my father a few names and he moved away. Some other girl decided to pick a fight with me so I called her a few names as well. A found a plate and a fork and managed to find myself a piece of Christmas cake which was going to be my Christmas dinner as I stood defiantly in the middle of this room where everyone else was sitting around eating and slowly ate my Christmas cake. I made sure that everyone saw me and they all kept their distance from me after I’d snapped at a few of them and no-one said a word to me

marité baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And then I was flying out to Canada. In the morning I had been at work. As the morning wore on it became increasingly difficult for me to slip away to catch my plane. The take-off was at 15:00 so I had to be there at the latest at 14:00. It was just dragging on and on the morning that I couldn’t get away. Eventually I managed to tear myself away with about 15 minutes to go. I had to drive to the airport, park the car, take a bus back to the terminal, check in etc. This was going to take ages. When I went outside my father was there with someone. He said “come over here. I’d like you to meet someone”. I said “no, you can’t drive me to the airport can you? I’m running so late”. he said “oh no, I can’t do that”. That was annoying. In the end I got into my car and drove like the wind to the airport. part of the time I was driving on the wrong side of the road. I couldn’t remember whether I was in the Uk or Europe. I was only when I was halfway to the airport I thought “do I have my passport?” I could see that if I stopped to check I’d be totally late for my plane and I’d have to search when I was in the queue for checking in. If I didn’t have it then it would be even more of a catastrophe. I was really panicking. So much so that I had a night sweat and I’ve not had one of those for several weeks.

By the time that I’d finished, it meant that my lunchtime fruit was rather later than usual, and then the rest of the afternoon was spend dealing with some notes of previous days from when I was gallivanting around in Central Europe.

Not all of it, that is, because I couldn’t keep going and ended up drifting away into the ether for half an hour or so at one point.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And that meant that my afternoon walk was later than usual.

As usual I went off over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening. And to my surprise there were crowds of people down there. And some of them had even gone into the water too.

Surprise, because it was still cold out there, cloudy and overcast. Not the weather for me to have gone willingly into the sea. I would have been much more likely to have taken refuge in the tent that’s down there on the beach than lounge about on the beach in my cozzy.

You have already seen the boats out there in the bay.

While I was walking down towards the end of the headland I was stopping to take a few photos of the loads of marine traffic that was out and about.

cap frehel brittany France Eric Hall photo August 2022And while the weather out to sea was fairly hazy at a distance, the view along the coast was one of the best that I have seen.

Even standing on the clifftop I could see the lighthouse at Cap Frehel quite clearly with the naked eye, and when I clambered up on top of the bunker with the camera, the photo revealed not only the headland on which it stands, but the headland behind it too further over to the right.

That’s possibly the Cap d’Erquy or even the coast that leads up to the Ile de Bréhat although it would be astonishing if we could see that far out. It’s already about 70km to the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel.

There is a formula about how far you can theoretically see to the horizon depending on how high up you are, but the real distance also depends on the atmospheric conditions. Sometimes you can’t even see your hand in front of your face.

fishermen pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There were crowds of people milling around at the end of the headland and on the car park.

These people were however getting away from it all this afternoon. There were in fact several people out there on the rocks fishing, but they all kept to their individual rocks.

We didn’t see anyone catch anything while we were out there this afternoon and that’s just as well. We can’t have the fishermen going around making a habit of catching anything, especially when I’m watching them.

The seagull that was swimming around just offshore was enjoying himself though, relaxing in the surf.

monaco du nord 2 marité baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Meanwhile just offshore at the Pointe du Roc we had plenty of traffic too.

In previous photos we saw Marité and then Monaco du Nord II out there going for a sail. Marité wasn’t in anything of a hurry but Monaco du Nord II I was and for a moment I thought that they might be on a collision course.

Consequently I loitered around in the vicinity hoping for some spectacular entertainment but they managed to avoid each other and the latter passed the former without any incident.

You can see what I mean about the view though. The town of Cancale across the bay was quite clearly visible today just above Marité.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022It’s no surprise that I wasn’t alone watching all of the activity going on out there today because there was plenty of activity to keep people occupied.

Down on the bench by the cabanon vauban there was a couple of people. They were evidently concentrating on what was happening out at sea and that’s no surprise either. When Marité is in full sail she’s quite a spectacular sight.

While I was there I filmed a little video of Marité and then I headed off down the path on the other side of the headland down towards the port to see what was happening there this afternoon.

fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The only boat that was tied up at the Fish Processing Plant was one of the harbour lighters.

What I was interested in though was what was going on underneath the Plant. They must be expecting a few of the little fishing boats to come in shortly.

While most of the catch is hauled up to the Plant by the cranes that you can see, a couple of the smaller boats are owned by private individuals and seafood shops who process their own catch and those vehicles are there to take it away

That’s a lovely collection of fish boxes there on the quayside too. I suppose that the boats drop off their full boxes and take away some empty ones for the next day’s work.

lysandre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And right on cue one of the little fishing boats comes into port.

There are two that look pretty much the same – Petite Laura and Lysandre. and even if we couldn’t read the name on the wind deflector above the wheelhouse we can tell by the registration number, that begins with “SM” for St Malo, this this one is Lysandre.

Meanwhile, over at the chantier naval there is no change in occupant. Still the same trawlers that were there yesterday and for much of last week. 6 boats in there at once is quite good and there’s not much room for anyone else, although we have actually seen nine in there at one time.

shtandart la granvillaise festival of working sailing ships port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022My path carried on down towards the inner harbour.

The arrangements for the Festival of Working Sailing Ships are proceeding apace. They have erected plenty of marquees down there now ready for all of the displays. And while I was watching they were testing the lighting.

The Russian sailing ship Shtandart is still there, as is Marie Fernand out of shot over on the right. But also in there is La Granvillaise who has now come in to join the party.

Who else will be coming in to join them?

victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Also in port, but not taking part in the Festival of Working Sailing Ships, is Victor Hugo.

She spent overnight the night before last on a sleep-out at St Helier and came back to Granville at 17:35 yesterday evening so I only just missed her arrival.

Back here I finished off the last of the coconut milk and then finished off the dictaphone notes on which I’d been working. There’s still a pile to go that represent seven days’ worth of dictating and there’s a considerable volume of stuff in there.

Tea tonight was a taco roll with the remains of yesterday’s stuffing. I’d forgotten to put any garlic in it yesterday so I added it in. And having been marinading in spices for 24 hours it was pretty powerful.

Although I’m listening to the Old-Time Radio (and the Navy Lark right at this moment) I’m going to try my best for an early night. Strange as it is to say it, I’m more exhausted having spent 53 minutes talking in Welsh than any other activity that I’ve performed for a while.

A good sleep will do me good.

Friday 22nd July 2022 – THAT WAS HORRIBLE!

It really does look as if I’ve slipped right back into where I was a couple of months ago. This morning I crashed right out in front of the computer, a proper, deep crash-out of the kind that I was having a couple of months ago. I was away with the fairies for a couple of hours and as a result I was late for my Welsh class.

That’s probably the most depressing thing that’s happened to me just recently.

kites pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022So while you admire a couple of photos of a group of people flying a couple of kites around on the lawn at the Pointe du Roc I’ll tell you about my day today.

Actually, last night I ended up going to be rather later than I had hoped. Not as late as I have done on some occasions and certainly not late enough to to have caused all of the problems this morning.

Nevertheless, leaving the bed this morning was something of a struggle and I had to get a move on in order to beat the second alarm.

After the meds I came in here to start on transcribing the dictaphone notes but I didn’t even make a start before I wandered away into the ether.

kites pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Eventually I made it to the Welsh lesson.

Now that we’ve all worked out a few things on our own like screen sharing of *.pdfs and the like we managed to organise ourselves so much better and the lessons went quite well.

It really was a shame that the course came to an end because the group of people on the course were amongst the nicest whom I’ve met for quite a while. Consequently we’ve created a group on Social Media where we can keep in touch.

And I really hope that we do.

After I’d had my fruit for lunch I had a listen to what was on the dictaphone. I had actually managed to go for a wander around during the night, even if I hadn’t gone far. I had been at school last night. There was a lot happening last night but I can’t remember much about it but I do remember towards the end doing bakery and I had all of the children making cream cakes etc using all kinds of tools etc that we had lying around. It became after a while a gardening expedition as well. I taught them how to lay out a garden and grow vegetables. I gave them all seeds etc. We were going through the gardens digging up their potatoes. They had potatoes, these kids, steam the back way with all these potatoes around etc and the next group would go up and go through their gardens borrowing extra tools and showing off the fine band of potatoes that they’s managed to grow and put them in a basket. It was all very satisfying and rewarding watching these kids working like this.

As well as this thing about cream cakes there was some kind of hide-and-seek or some kind of game that involved a delivery of the products and you could only accept delivery when it’s your turn. You had to wait standing by the tree if it wasn’t your turn but I don’t know how it finished from there. It was all certainly complicated.

But this is what is something of a surprise to me. I’ve had nights where it seems that I’ve been off on a non-stop series of rambles from the time that I’ve gone to bed until the time that I’ve awoken and I’ve carried on during the day with no problem at all.

Yet here I am, not having gone very far at all last night and I’m totally wasted. It makes no sense to me.

Anyway, that’s another problem. I went off for my afternoon walk around the headland, much later than usual.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022as usual, I went over to the wall at the end of the headland to see who was down on the beach.

There weren’t all that many people down there today and no-one at all in the water and that’s no surprise because the weather has changed dramatically. It’s cool, overcast and there is quite a wind that has sprung up from somewhere.

It’s not really the weather for the pèche à pied either but there is someone down there with a fishing net so they must be quite optimistic.

There were no fishing boats out there in the bay this afternoon so with nothing to detain me I headed off past the kite-fliers and down to the end of the headland.

captain corsaire baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022At the end of the headland I ran into a yacht that was going out into the bay.

She’s called Captain Corsaire which, apparently, is the name of a clothing company from St Malo.

Not that I know very much about the registration numbers of yachts, but I’m wondering if the “GBR” that’s written on her sails implies that she’s registered in the UK

She’s struggling to make headway against the wind at the moment and it must be making things quite exciting for the members of the crew who are on board. They must be shipping quite a bit of water in this wind.

cabanon vauban people pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There were a couple of other yachts out there too, and a few people down there by the cabanon vauban watching them all.

This family had been walking along the lower path and had gone down to the end of the headland for a closer look at all of the maritime activity.

There weren’t any fishermen out there today either, neither with the rod and line nor at the pèche à pied.

They are leaving the local fish alone and having a day off so I decided to leave the headland alone and go off on the path down the other side of the headland to see what was happening down in the port this afternoon.

la confiance 2 chantier naval joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022No changes in the chantier naval today.

La Confiance II is still over there up on her blocks but no-one else has come in to join her. We could do with a bit more business in there right now. It’s the kind of things that keeps the wheels of industry turning.

Meanwhile, over at the ferry terminal, one of the Joly France boats is moored up. We can tell by her windows being in “portrait” format that she’s the newer one of the two.

As to where the older one of the two is, stick around and you’ll find out in very early course.

l'omerta ch714399 l'iris de suse port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Over at the Fish Processing Plant, L’Omerta is still moored up there.

It doesn’t look as if she has moved for a few days now. But at least she has another companion today. I can read her registration number, CH714339, and that tells me that according to my fishing database she’s a fishing boat called L’Iris de Suse.

Her colours are really eye-catching and it’s not easy to confuse her with any other fishing boat.

There are no refrigerated lorries up at the Fish Processing Plant right now so it doesn’t look as if they are expecting many fishing boats to come in on this tide.

seagull car towing zodiac port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There wasn’t anything going on up above at the Fish Processing Plant but there was plenty going on below.

There were a couple of cars driving down the ramp underneath, each one towing a trailer on which was a zodiac. Down at the end they performed a U-turn and then reversed up to the slope that drops down into the water.

By the looks of things they were going to drop off the zodiacs into the water, upsetting a flock of seagulls as they were doing so. But why they would be doing that right now, I wouldn’t know.

The way the tide is though, they won’t be in the water for all that long, unless they plan on staying out until the tide comes back in later on tonight.

joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Just now I mentioned something about the older Joly France ferry.

While I was walking around the headland just now I noticed something large making waves out by the Ile de Chausey and I imagined that it was one of the ferries on its way back to port.

Sure enough as I headed for home, around the headland came the older Joly France boat complete with a big load of passengers, coming back from the island this afternoon.

No trace of the very new Belle France though. We haven’t seen her for some time so I wonder where she’s got to.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022On the way home I stopped for a look at the loading bay down at the bottom of the inner harbour.

Even though a pile of stuff was loaded up onto Chausiaise for delivery to St Helier the other day, yet more stuff has arrived. I don’t know whether the Jersey freighters come in at the weekend so it looks as if we’ll be having a visit quite early next week.

Back here I had a few things to do and then I went for tea. Sausage, beans and chips thanks to my air fryer and how glad am I that I bought one of those? The chips and sausage were cooked to perfection, much better than any other way that I’ve tried to cook them.

Yes, that was €28:00 very well spent.

So having started off talking about kites, then seeing as I’m not able to “fly a yellow paper sun in your sky when the wind is high, when the wind is high”, I’m going shopping tomorrow and “all of these and seven wonders more will I find” if I’m lucky.

But right now I’m off to bed with the hope that I’ll find an interesting companion for tonight’s travels so that “In letters of gold on a snow white kite I will write “I love you” and send it soaring high above you for all to read” tomorrow.

Yes, the Shulman brothers were churning out DECENT STUFF long before they formed “Gentle Giant”.

Thursday 21st July 2022 – I WAS RIGHT …

la confiance 2 chantier naval chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… when I said the other day that it looked as if Les Bouchots de Chausey wasn’t going to be around for very long in the chantier naval.

When I went past this afternoon she had gone! And never called me “mother”. There was just La Confiance II in there now and that was that.

Meanwhile, in other news, over at the ferry terminal is Chausiaise, the little freighter. The last time that we saw her was when she was underneath the crane in the loading bay in the inner harbour.

However someone whom I know sent me a photo this morning of Chausiaise in the harbour at St Helier. That will explain why she was loading up the other day.

It will also explain why ships like Southern Liner have been in port sounding out the possibility of running additional freight services to the Channel Islands. Business must be booming if they have pressed Chausiaise into service on that route too.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While we’re on the subject of ferry terminals and ferries … “well, one of us is” – ed … other things that have gone! And never called me “mother” either are the two Channel Island ferries.

Granville departed at 11:04 and is currently in St Helier. Victor Hugo also left at 11:04 and may currently be found in Cherbourg.

So what’s happening there I really don’t know, but the plot sickens. Whatever it is that’s going on, I wish that they would sort themselves out quite quickly because all of this isn’t doing anyone any good.

Last night’s sleep didn’t do me much good, unfortunately. It was another one of those nights where I struggled to go to sleep and when I did, I was soon awake as the bedroom warmed up dramatically.

Things were such that I could even have left the bed at 07:00 but I loitered around until the alarm went off at 07:30, for old time’s sake.

After the medication I went outside to take some stuff out of Caliburn. A pile of rubbish went into the waste bin and some more stuff came upstairs.

The idea was that someone was coming round this morning. There was a request on Social Network for an offcut of linoleum and I have some here.

We’d agreed a deal that he could have it for free in exchange for helping me bring upstairs the flat-pack units that I’d bought from IKEA in Germany the other week, hence the tidying up in Caliburn. However it goes without saying that after all that effort on my part, he never turned up.

What else never turned up was the Zoom link to the Welsh class. As a late addition to the course I’m not on the mailing list. I had to send an e-mail to the tutor and hope that she saw it. I ended up being 45 minutes late for my course.

She was much more organised today which was good, and that was helped by the fact that we as students are starting to take the initiative and between us we’ve worked out screen-sharing for powerpoints and so on and that makes things much easier when we are in break-out rooms.

Once again we bashed right through without lunch and finished early. That gave me time to deal with a few things such as the dictaphone.

My solicitor came round last night and he brought his managing partner with him. This was when my parents were out then – there was me and one or two other people. They began to talk and said that they had some good news for me. Firstly all my accounts had been accepted. They confirmed that I didn’t actually buy or sell anything so I’m not liable to anything. Secondly they aren’t interested in any accounts for previous years. The third thing is that I don’t have to sit any English exams at all. For unknown reasons this really delighted me. When my parents came back it took an age for them to stop talking. At the end I could tell them all my good news. They wanted to know all about the implications of it. They were wondering about this English exam because they thought that I could have some really high marks with my English. Not taking it would reduce my overall average. I explained that things like time was an issue, my energy was an issue. If I could receive a credit for my English without taking an exam then I would go that way. We had quite a long talk about everything about this.

There was something going on later about 2 girls who knew each other. They had been to the USSR and had noticed a few business opportunities that they could exploit. One went back to the USA and the other stayed in the USSR. They set up this import-export agency. For one of them it went really well and so was living a life of comparative luxury but the other one was living in poverty in a caravan and eventually on an old boat. She had to cross the Atlantic in this boat but it was not particularly seaworthy. Things like the wind generator was only held on by an old nail etc. This was going to be a voyage fraught with disaster. I was on it as it slipped out of harbour and she went off to do something. As we rounded the bend to leave the harbour there was a catamaran coming in with children on board. I couldn’t really stop the boat so I had to put it into the side wall where it bounced along the side wall and out so that it left this catamaran plenty of room. She was quite upset about that and asked me what I thought that I was doing. I explained that I’d never been on board a boat before in these kinds of circumstances and I was doing what I thought was correct to the best of the ability that I had

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It was rather later than usual when I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

That meant that it was cooler than it otherwise might have been when I went out so I wasn’t expecting to se too many people out there but I was pleasantly surprised.

It was warmer than I was expecting anyway and the crowds were wandering around everywhere even down on the beach and even one or two brave souls who had gone into the water.

No Nazguls out there today though. There wasn’t all that much wind about.

ch651332 hera suzanga baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that one of the things that I have mentioned recently is the fact that the fishing boats seem to be exploiting new areas of the sea since the issues with the Channel Islands.

This wzs illustrated today by not one but two trawlers out there in the bay with their nets out and I was expecting to see one of Tom Rolt’s “Greek vs Greek” moments as Hera in blue and Suzanga in pink sailed towards each other on a collision course.

They did however pass by with a couple of metres spare, and then both did a U-turn and went back for another go at each other.

This was certainly exciting and I stayed around for a few minutes to watch but eventually they formed themselves into parallel lines and headed off into the sunset.

lysandre baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There were plenty of other boats out there this afternoon too.

This blue inshore shell-fishing boat heading back from the Ile de Chausey is blue and white and that tells me that it’s either Lysandre or Petite Laura because there isn’t much differenc ebetween the two and I can’t read the registration number from here.

But for reasons that you will find out if you have the patience to read on to the end, I reckon that this boat is Lysandre.

And there were others too but they were too far out to identify.

10sa aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And there weren’t just crowds on the path or on the sea either.

Although we had to Nazguls in the air today while I was out, we did have a light aeroplane. As far as I can tell, its registration number seems to be 10SA and that’s one of the ones that isn’t on the aeroplane database that I can access.

But that’s a number that hasn’t appeared before in our paperwork so I’m wondering it it is in fact 50SA with some dirt or staining obscuring part of its registration.

Or maybe I should have gone to a well-known chain of opticians.

cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022My eyesight can’t all be that bad today though.

Although there’s quite a bit of haze about today I actually did manage to see the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel with the naked eye, even if it is about 70 kms away from where I’m standing.

In fact it was easier to see with the naked eye than it was with the camera and that’s not something that heppens every day. Usually the camera picks out objects much better than the naked eye at any kind of distance.

One of these days I’ll post the photo that I took of the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel that I took when we sailed past on Spirit of Conrad so you can see what it is that you are supposed to be seeing.

fishermen pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022With the crowds out there this afternoon it was quite busy at the end of the headland so I fought my way down to the end of the headland.

There were plenty of fishermen out there too. There seemed to be one on every rock. This guy, and presumably one of his offspring, were out there near the cabanon vauban.

Only the father seemed to be fishing though. Although the younger one had a fishing rod handy, he seemed to me more interested in scrambling around on the rocks and I’ve no idea why.

But then we’ve only ever seen one fisherman actually catch something so I imagine that the younger one found it to be rather boring.

cabanon vauban man pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Mind you, there was an audience out there this afternoon.

Not sitting on the bench but standing down at the end of the headland was this guy armed with a camera. And there was plenty going on down there so I’m surprised that he wasn’t taking any interest in anything that was happening around him.

There were more people in the vicinity too, including a Dutch family of a father and two young girls who were taking photos of almost everything. And much as I like to take photos of people taking photos, there are some limits to what it’s polite to do.

yachts speedboat le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022From the end of the headland I wandered off around the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

There was plenty going on there as well. Out by Le Loup, the marker light on the rock at the mouth of the harbour, a few yachts from one of the sailing schools were happily sailing by.

There was a speedboat too roaring past, as well as another boat hiding behind the light.

There was quite a lot of other stuff too but they somehow managed to make themselves out of shot.

Having made a photographic note of what was going on at the ferry terminal and the chantier naval, I carried on along the path towards home.

l'omerta petite laura port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Over at the Fish Processing Plant we can see L’Omerta. She’s still there from the other day and doesn’t look as if she’s moved.

And behind her is a blue and white shell-fishing boat. She has a “CH” (Cherbourg) registration number so she’s not Lysandre, who has an “SM” (St Malo) number and so she must be Petite Laura

That means that the one that we saw earlier out in the bay must be Lysandre because it’s certainly a different boat.

With my chocolate drink awaiting me at home, I headed off back to the apartment

extinction rebellion posters Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It looks as if the flyposters have been out overnight.

There’s a project afoot to turn the road between Granville and Avranches into a dual carriageway and it’s causing a great deal of controversy. It now looks as if the Extinction Rebellion movement people are now on the case.

Actually I sympathise with their campaign because the road isn’t all that busy. And they could deal with much of that by making the train service more reliable and regular.

At the moment it’s just trains between Caen and Rennes but they really need to restore the trains between Cherbourg and St Malo and that will double the frequency of trains on the section of the line between Granville and Avranches.

Bus transport around Granville is improving and if they would make more of an effort at Avranches I for one wouldn’t need to use the van to travel there.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bun and that was quite delicious with potatoes and vegetables. Tomorrow I’m going for sausage beans and chips.

But that’s tomorrow. Right now I’m off to bed and prepare for the last day of my Summer School. I’m glad that I found this Summer School because even if it’s not as well-organised as it might be, it’s still bringing my Welsh out of the dark recesses of my mind and that can’t be a bad thing.

There’s still 6 weeks until our course restarts and I bet that I will have forgotten it all again by then.

Wednesday 20th July 2022 – SUNDAY NIGHT’S PIZZA …

… may not have been as good as others might have been in the past but tonight’s curry was a belter. One of the best that i’ve ever made.

Basically it was the left-overs out of the fridge with a potato added thereto and cooked to perfection with lots of lovely spices and some soya cream.

And if I can make curry like that again on a regular basis, I’ll be in business.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Quite a lot more pleasure boats out there at sea today so while you admire them all in the next few photos (becase these are all that there were), I’li start at the very beginning.

And at least last night was somewhat better than the previous one. Even with the bedroom window closed and the fan switched off it was a lot cooler in the bedroom and I actually managed to go to sleep.

So much so that when the alarm went off at 07:30 it was a struggle to leave the bed.

Nevertheless I beat the second alarm to my feet (which is always good news) and staggered off into the kitchen to take my medicine.

fishermen speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Back in here I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night.

We started off with a neighbour just like that guy in Virlet who was bad-tempered and miserable, always finding fault, always being picky. We’d all been somewhere on board a bus, a pile of us. He had 2 young girls with him. When the bus stopped and everyone alighted he disappeared for a moment. I was going through my things and found some small bottles of water so I gave one each to these 2 girls and also a sweet. When he came back I gave him one as well, a bottle of water and a sweet. He was going on about how I was trying to buy friends, this kind of thing. I said “no, not at all. It was just something that I wanted to do because I’m that kind of person” or something like that. While they were all sitting there talking I took out my laptop and my headphones and was going to sit down to transcribe some notes.

yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And then someone had heard of a photographer so he went to see him about doing some photographs. When the photos were done they were so good that he was wondering who it was who recommended him, whether he was a relation or simply just a friend of that person

Finally I was with a group of friends and we had gone to a meeting or something. There was a lunch laid on so we started to help ourselves to lunch. This meeting had cost us £8:00 each to go. We went but the meeting wasn’t particularly inspiring but the lunch was quite nice. This carried on for a short while afterwards and then they started to lay out the table with all these curries etc so I asked if we were going to stay for this as well. They replied “well we’d better start moving around or else we’ll be stuck in one place”. We started to wander around and they started to bring all of the things that they were going to serve. In the meantime where was this nice curry. I thought “never mind anything else. I’m going to have some of the curry”. We started to help ourselves to the meals. One of the things that was happening was a display of firearms with the children. The firearms discipline was hopeless. All the kids were turning their backs on each other while they were carrying loaded firearms. I said to one of the girls with us that that was terrible. If they had done that anywhere else they would have been thrown out immediately. Some fellow turned round and made some kind of remark to me. I replied “don’t worry. I’m a foreigner”. He asked “why is it that you are telling her then?”. I said that’s OK because she’s a foreigner too” so he turned round and walked away at that point.

The Welsh class continued with its usual chaotic structure but I’m not complaining. After all, it is free and it’s the best offer that I’ve had for a Summer School. And once again we didn’t stop for lunch but crashed on right through.

One of the tasks that we had to do was to read a couple of chapters of a book. The book was able to be downloaded as an *.epub but no program that I have on any of my computers would read it.

Eventually I tracked down a program – CALIBRE – that would read it but the field of view is so small that I can’t read the text and after spending about an hour at it I’ve still not found a way to zoom the page up to a realistic size.

It really beats me why people can’t stick to a good old-fashioned *.pdf format for on-line books.

When the course finished I had my lunchtime fruit and then a play about on the guitar for a while. That took me up to the walkies time.

people on beach rue do nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And as usual I went out across the car park over to the wall at the end so that I can look down onto the beach.

Less and less beach down there today, and fewer and fewer people too. It was really warm out there this afternoon but I think tht what must have put people off was the fact that it was nothing like as warm as Monday. That really was exceptional.

And while we’re on the subject of the beach … “well, one of us is” – ed … someone trying to negotiate the steps that lead to the beach missed their footing and fell from the cliffs onto the beach yesterday evening.

That was the reason why the Air-Sea rescue helicopter was hovering around here while I was on the ‘phone.

hang gliders Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022You’ve seen all of the photos of what was going on out at sea this afternoon, so I had a look elsewhere to see if there was anything else going on.

And as I watched, a couple of Nazgul reared up from the field at the side of the cemetery and began to head my way.

“Your Only Protection is Flight” as Hawkwind sang in SONIC ATTACK, especially as I’m over 10 years old and don’t have a cocoon, but whereas a couple of years ago I could quite happily run all the way around the headland, these days I can’t even run for a bus.

There were quite a few people out and about on the path today and so we had the dust-clouds to deal with. I shudder to think what it will be like if the wind gets up with all of this dust about. It won’t be pleasant.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Down at the end of the headland there was no-one sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban.

However we did have a fisherman out there on the rocks. What with the ones that you might have seen earlier in one of the boat it seemed to be quite busy from that point of view.

There were even a few people having a go at the pèche à pied although I’m not quite sure, for the tide is nowhere near far enough out.

But that’s their problem, not mine. I left them to it, in the hope that a Nazgul would get them, and headed off down the path towards the port.

les bouchots de chausey la confiance 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And yet another change in occupancy in the chantier naval.

We still have Les Bouchots de Chausey if it is indeed she, and La Confiance II but Monaco du Nord II has disappeared. back into the water, I suppose.

And while L’Omerta is still tied up – on her own – at the Fish Processing Plant, there wasn’t anyone this afternoon over at the ferry terminal. All of the ferries to the Ile of Chausey are presumably out.

But a friend of a friend tells me that Granville, the newer of the two Channel Islands ferries, has turned up this evening in St Helier and is planning on staying the night over there. So some kind of skeleton service is being run at the moment.

marité chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And if you are wondering where Chausiaise is, the little freighter is over there at the quayside underneath the crane, presumably being loaded with supplies for the island.

Marité is over there too. She’s not going anywhere right now by the looks of things. It doesn’t seem to be much of a summer so far for the town’s water craft.

Back at the apartment I had a good clean-up and a shower to make myself look pretty and then, bang on cure, Rosemary rang me. She MUST have installed a camera here somewhere.

It ended up being another one of our long chats, mainly about her Ukrainian guests. By the sound of things they have settled in the Auvergne and seem to be at home.

Their issue is first of all to learn to speak French, and secondly, to sort out some kind of employment. This involves contacting all kinds of Government agencies and finding out what facilities are available for Ukrainian refugees to integrate into French society, and so we spent the time of our ‘phone call making lists

Hopefully, progress can be made. But I can see myself being recruited into going for another trip into Central France some time in the near future for a hands-on task.

Tea was my delicious curry and then I came in here to write up my notes.

And now I’m off to bed. Another day at Summer School tomorrow and I’ll see how I get on. I’m not expecting too much but it’s all that’s on offer right now.

And considering that all of these supplementary courses are free, I’m just grateful that the Welsh Government is taking the trouble to educate us.

Tuesday 19th July 2022 – THAT WAS HORRIBLE

There can’t have been too many nights like last night.

When I finally went to bed I had every door and window open in the apartment and a fan on the chest of drawers going off blowing cold air onto my body – no cover over me of course.

The racket was indescribable and totally impossible to sleep but when I closed the doors and windows and switched off the fan the heat was indescribable and totally impossible to sleep. In the end I decided that if I wasn’t going to sleep, at least it’s a better plan not to sleep when it’s hot and noisy rather than not to sleep in the boiling hot, stifling and stuffy oppressive heat.

When the gale sprung up at about 02:00 I wished that there had been a third alternative too. Not even hanging a heavy weight to the end of the curtain would stop it flapping about.

When the alarm went off at 07:30 and I’d had such an awful night, and with a Welsh lesson to come, I decided that a lie-in would do me some good and there I stayed until 09!15

Having organised myself I went for Day One (well, Day Two really) of my Welsh Summer School. This tutor doesn’t seem to be as organised as the others whom I’ve had in the past. She’s one of these people who doesn’t believe in breaks. Instead she crashed on regardless and finished early.

However I can’t complain because
1) it was very nice of her to squeeze me into her course
2) the course is free

What I’ll have to do tomorrow is make a flask of coffee and have some biscuits standing by.

By the time I’d had my midday fruit (at some time considerably later than midday) I went out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As usual, I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end so that I could look down onto the beach.

There wasn’t a great deal of beach today. The tide cycle here is about 25 hours or so so every day when I go out the tide is about half an hour later and with the speed that the tide comes in and out here that can make a considerable difference.

There weren’t too many people down there this afternoon either. The weather was not quite as warm as yesterday and, strange as it might seem, at midday or thereabouts we’d had a little shower of rain for a couple of minutes.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While I was here I was looking out to sea as well.

And as I watched, one of the Joly France boats came out of the mist (because it was quite misty this afternoon) from the Ile de Chausey and was heading back towards the port.

The small upper-deck superstructure and the windows in “Portrait” format suggests that this is the newer one of the two.

And she has quite a crowd on board too. It looks as if they have had quite a busy time out on the island today. There are water supply issues on the island and I bet that this weather has been taxing their facilities.

d-eqdk Breezer B600 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And that wasn’t all the excitement either.

As I watched, a light aeroplane went flying by out in the bay from the south. And as I watched it performed a U-turn and headed back southwards.

When I enlarged the photo back home, I could see that she’s a German-registered plane, D-EQDK. She’s a Breezer B600 and we have in fact seen her before, on the 13th August last year.

According to the flight radar she took off from Avranches 16:04, headed north towards Granville, turned back southwards and then disappeared off the radar near Dinard at 16:27. My photo was taken at 16:13 (adjusted).

f-gbai robin dr 400-140b pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022She wasn’t the only aeroplane in the sky either.

A few minutes later another one went flying by in the bay. This one is one of our usual suspects, F-GBAI, a Robin DR 400-140b that belongs to the Granville Aero Club.

She’s been out and about a couple of times today but at the time that I saw her, according to her flight plan, she was still on the ground at the airfield and certainly wasn’t picked up on the radar.

Maybe someone has the time set wrong somewhere.

yellow autogyro baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Jamais deux sans trois – “never two without a third” as they say around here.

Sure enough 10 minutes later, out of the mist came the familiar rattle of another one of our old friends.

This is the yellow autogyro that we see quite regularly, taking passengers for a spin up and down the bay to see Mont St Michel and whatever else there is of interest in the area.

All we need now is the Loch Ness Monster and Godzilla and we will have had everything.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There were plenty of people wandering around on the path today kicking up the dust so I didn’t hang around.

Narrowly avoiding being squidged on the car park I went down to the end of the headland. No-one fishing off the rocks today but there were a couple of people sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban.

And they had plenty to see as well, like the Joly France ferry going past and the aerial display too.

Quite a few people down there on the lower path as well. The slightly cooler weather this afternoon has brought out the crowds.

les bouchots de chausey la confiance 2 monaco du nord 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Some more changes in the chantier naval today.

La Confiance II and Monaco du Nord II are still in there but over there on the left they’ve now been joined by one of the shell-fishing boats. Her number isn’t on the database that I have but I reckon that she may well be Les Bouchots de Chausey.

Whoever she is, there are several workmen already swarming all over her so it doesn’t look as if they are going to be hanging around.

Mind you, I’ve said a few things like that before and lived to regret it, haven’t I?

joly france chausiaise yacht ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Over at the ferry terminal there’s some congestion.

We have Chausiaise, the little grey, white and orange freighter, and also the two Joly France boats. The one that just arrived is the one at the back of the queue.

By the looks of things Belle France, the newest ferry, isn’t there. She’s not in the inner harbour either so I reckon that she’s probably still out there at the island.

Not much happening in the way of pleasure craft today though. That yacht that went sailing past in the background was the only one that I saw.

loading zodiac onto trailer port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Mind you, had I been out there 10 minutes earlier I might have seen a zodiac out there in the bay.

But as I went past just now, the zodiac was at the ramp underneath the Fish Processing Plant and there was a van and trailer there. By the looks of things they were loading up the zodiac onto the trailer ready to take it away.

L’Omerta was still there too, but she was on her own. Everyone else who was tied up there yesterday has now cleared off.

Having taken my photos, I cleared off too. I have plenty of things to be doing this afternoon and not much time to be doing them either.

Granville victor hugo port de granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Things seem to be heating up in this ferry dispute too.

In the inner harbour Victor Hugo has now been joined by the newer Granville. They are both tied up there now and that seems to be that for the moment.

It would really be nice if this dispute could be resolved and we could get back into the business of running a ferry service. Right now we seem to be going one step forward and two steps back.

Incidentally, Granville, although the newer of the two ferries, is a second-hand boat. She was built new as the Bornholm Express in 2006 and sailed between Simrishamn in Sweden and the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea and was last seen on that service in 2014.

lorry trans shipping porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022One of the problems of living in a medieval walled city is that the streets and gates aren’t designed for modern traffic.

The Porte St Jean into the old town is quite small and many larger vehicles can’t enter. They have to park up outside the walls and arrange some kind of trans-shipment of their cargoes.

Just like this van delivering wine, in fact. I suppose that his cargo is destined for one of the restaurants in there.

Back here I had a glass of cold coconut drink and then sat down to transcribe the dictaphone notes. I must have gone to sleep at some point during the night.

There was some kind of tennis match taking place. I don’t really remember who it was or what it was about or anything but I think that one of the participants was quite young. There was something about an advertising campaign where you could have stencils to stencil over your vehicle. The company would give you money for doing that kind of thing so that they would have the publicity from the moving vehicle as well as anywhere else.

And then we had to go to stay in a dormitory for some reason, a load of us. It wasn’t separated by sex at all for young people. I found a bed right by the alleyway, the walkway in this dormitory in the hope that a young girl whom I knew would sleep in one of the other beds around me. She was with a group of people so hopefully she might go on the other row and be down this end. I had to go to the bathroom. It was again a communal bathroom and wasn’t restricted by sex so there were all kinds of people coming and going, including one rather insistent girl while I was using the facilities. That was rather uncomfortable. Then I had to hurry back to make sure that I had my bed and that no-one else had it and hoped that this girl would have the bed that was across the walkway from mine.

There was something about a bookstore. all the books were in a total mess and it needed some arranging. I was there doing some work. a young girl kept on coming in to look at the books. She would also come in to chat to me and we became quite friendly. It turned out that she was leaving school and didn’t know what to do. I asked her why she didn’t want to work in a bookshop with us. We always had vacancies and she would enjoy it. Of course I had a two motives. One was to be nice to her and the second was to get to know her much better but that’s beside the point isn’t it?

Just recently I seem to have spent a lot of time thinking about young ladies. I must be becoming broody or something.

I forgot to mention that one of the offices in this dream had a sheep’s skull nailed to the door as a kind of talisman. Someone else who came to see me once and there was a dispute in the corridor which was upsetting. I explained that but it made no difference about people having disputes as long as they weren’t with each other.

Someone with whom I used to work in Chester was teaching at the school where I was working. He came up to me in a class and we were talking. “Do you know what I would really like? I would like to go on holiday to the Isle of Thanet and for you to come with me” which I thought was really nice. We had a really good chat about the Isle of Thanet and me going on about things that we did when we were kids and things that my mother used to tell us that she did etc. This talk went on for quite some time about all kinds of things.

My mother lived in Birchington as a child until she and her sister were evacuated to Frome in Somerset when Manston Airfield down the road came under attack. She had plenty of stories to tell us and in fact we used to go down there every summer in the late 50s and early 60s while she still had her connections there to see things for ourselves.

The guy from Chester wanted to know when I’d be free but what he didn’t know and I didn’t tell him was that I was retiring at the end of the school year so I would be free all the time. There was no case of needing a diary or anything to write stuff down but I didn’t want it generally known quite yet that I was retiring so I didn’t say anything to him while he was discussing everything.

And that’s a recurring theme too these days

However I couldn’t keep going and at about 18:30 I crashed out. Only for about 20 minutes and that’s no surprise after the night, but I wish that I could have kept going.

Tea was a taco roll with rice and then I came in here to write my notes.

Rosemary rang me up for one of our marathon chats and that prevented me from going outside to find out why the Air-Sea Rescue helicopter was hovering around. By the time that I could go outside, it had gone.

So bedtime now. Let’s see how we get on tomorrow with this Summer School. It’s not like the usual ones that i’ve had before but it’s free and at least it keeps me interested and helps me remember what I might otherwise forget.

That has to be some kind of positive anyway.

Monday 18th July 2022 – WE’RE LIVING …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But anyway, I digress.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As usual I headed off out for my afternoon walk.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not that I was expecting all that much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Byddaf i yna I said. “I’ll be there’.

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

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

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

Friday 17th June 2022 – "THE MOVING FINGER"

“writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it”
.

So wrote Omar Khayyam in his famous Rubaiyat 900 years ago. But of course he was talking nonsense because a good rubber or a backspace key can erase as much as you like of anything that you have written.

What you cannot lure back to cancel, not even half a word, never mind half a line, is a word that you have spoken and how I’m regretting many of the words that I spoke, or, “mis-spoke”, to be more accurate, in my Welsh exam this afternoon.

Luckily, it’s a conversation exam so, as has been drummed into us on many occasions, they aren’t looking for perfection. Just whether you can hold a conversation that is intelligible and which flows.

The part of the exam which I feared the most, the “asking questions to fill in the gaps”, actually went quite well but the conversation was strewn with errors. However I managed to keep it going, he understood me, I understood his questions and he understood my replies.

Where it fell apart was when I had to interrogate him for a minute or two about his house. You’ve no idea how difficult it is to ask someone a barrage of questions for that length of time.

Yes, what wouldn’t I give for my moving tongue to wipe away whatever it was that I said so that I could start again?

But anyway there isn’t really anything that I can do about that now.

Let’s focus on the rest of the day instead.

southern liner port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And how about this ship that appeared in port this morning?

The other day I mentioned that it looked as if we were expecting some interesting things happening in port but I wasn’t expecting anything quite like this.

She’s Southern Liner, a small bulk carrier of 1100 tonnes, registered in Panama, that for the last few weeks has been running a shuttle between St Malo and St Helier but for some reason or other has now come into port here.

Is this going to be the start of something important? I hope so, because we could do with some more trade coming into the harbour.

Not like some of the locals will like it. Having had a successful campaign against the Big Wheel that I mentioned a few weeks ago, they are now campaigning against the Bar Ephemère and are campaigning to close it down.

They seem to be determined to destroy everything that disturbs the peace and tranquility of their little world on the seafront and so I’m on record now as saying that if they don’t like the town and its entertainment I’ll help them pack and I’ll personally run them out of town.

At times I think that a great many people have forgotten that many years ago they were young people too. They need to get over themselves, grow up, and take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror.

So once again I was awake early. Round about 06:45 as it happens. And when the alarm went off I was up and about quite quickly.

After the medication and checking my mails I spent the rest of the morning and the early part of the afternoon revising my Welsh, with the usual stops for a coffee, for breakfast and for lunch as well.

a little earlier I mentioned the exam. It should have been much better than it was but having to think on my feet and talk for more than five minutes is quite confusing. Still, too late to complain about it now.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Once the exam was over I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

As usual I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to have a look down onto the beach to see what was happening down there.

It was no surprise to see crowds of people down there because it was the hottest day of the year today. It’s quite cool in my apartment with walls of solid stone 1.2 metres thick and even so I didn’t have a jumper on at all today.

Some of the people down there had taken to the water too and I can’t say that I blamed them. I was rather tempted myself – that tells you just how warm it was today.

marker lights ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While I was looking down onto the beach, my other eye was roving about out at sea to see what was going on there.

There was quite a haze out there this afternoon and a strange reflection from the water. In recent times when the tide has been out we’ve seen the really nice beaches down at the north end of the Ile de Chausey but today the haze had hidden all of that.

And as far as I could see, there wasn’t a single boat out there at all this afternoon and that was something of a surprise. Admittedly the tide was quite far out so there won’t be anyone on their way home but I was expecting to see something going on out there, regardless of the haze.

marker buoy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022A few days ago we saw a beautiful flag out there in the bay, presumably indicating where someone has dropped off a lobster pot.

There were a few more out there in the bay this afternoon. By the looks of things the inshore fishing is intensifying, possibly because of the summer season and the tourists. They’ll all be asking for fresh lobster.

Mind you, I can tell you a story about “fresh lobster” from my days in tourism but this is not the time and the place, bearing in mind the peculiar way that calumnie works in France.

There weren’t too many people here on the path so I could wander round in comparative peace and quiet on my way around my circuit.

securite civile van pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022But there had been something going on on the lawn here by one of the old bunkers and by the looks of things I had missed it.

That van there is a Securité Civile – Moyens Aeriens – “Civil Security by Aerial Means” and it is usually out and about wherever the Air-Sea Rescue helicopter is operating.

And so it looks as if they have had their chopper out around here performing a rescue. That’s cleared off, presumably to hospital with the rescuee and the van is on its way back to the depot with all of the climbing equipment and everything else that it carries.

And I was too late to catch it all in action.

That was enough excitement for the afternoon. There was no-one down on the bench by the cabanon vauban at the end of the headland so I wandered off around the end of the headland and down the path on the other side towards the port.

l'alize 3 charles marie 2 wavecat express chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And we have yet another change in the chantier naval this afternoon.

Wavecat Express is still there but the catamaran that has been there for a while has now gone back into the water.

L’Alize III that we saw in there on Wednesday is still in there today and she has company. The blue and white trawler that’s come to join her is Charles Marie II..

And there’s a yacht in there too today. I wonder if it’s the same one that we saw the other day that was briefly in here but didn’t stick around.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And we’re back to playing “Musical Ships” again by the looks of things.

Yes, it’s L’Omerta back again, moored up to the quayside at the Fish Processing Plant and settling down into the silt.

There were quite a few cars down there on the lower level so it looks as if they are expecting a lot of the smaller shell-fishing boats coming into port to unload as soon as the tide turns.

On the way home I went to inspect Southern Liner and then back here I had a strawberry smoothie.

Next task was to check the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There was something going on about learning French last night but I can’t remember anything at all about it. It all went out of my head the moment I grabbed hold of the dictaphone.

Later on I was in my white Passat estate going to Germany from Brussels. Leaving Brussels was a real mess because everywhere was in roadworks. I had to go a long way out out of my way. eventually I picked up a road to Liège and set off to go that way. This road disappeared into a tunnel with a black and white road surface. There was a load of slow-moving pedestrians in it (by now I was on foot) and I was running into these pedestrians, they were moving so slowly. We went round a corner in this tunnel and ended up in some kind of subterranean railway station. A train pulled in so we all slmabered aboard. I walked down to the rear of the train where I could look out of the windows at the back and down the line. I didn’t have a ticket, was just standing there watching. The train gradually filled up. In the end the last 2 seats were taken by a couple of men who were clearly under the weather. They were dressed in light blue tuxedos. It looked to me as if they had been on a night out in a casino or something like that, spent their money and had plenty to drink. They settled down in these last two seats so I was standing up by there. The train pulled away and that was that.

And regrettably I fell asleep at some point. The only time that I fell asleep today as well and again, only for about 15 minutes.

After I awoke and came back round into the land of the living I started to empty Caliburn.

At great personal expense I’ve brought up two of my four kitchen units. I can bring them across the yard on a trolley, carry them to the front door (just about) and then roll them in their boxes head over heels up the stairs. It’s back-breaking so I’m not going to do the other two until tomorrow.

What I am going to do later though, when I’ve recovered, is to go down and bring up a pile of the lighter stuff. It’ll be another job done.

Tea tonight was a curry made of leftover bits and pieces and it was delicious. So now I’m going to take it easy because tomorrow I have some cleaning up to do.

Thursday 16th June 2022 – GONE!

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And never called me “Mother”!

Yes, when I went for a wander out on my way to the physiotherapist’s this afternoon, I noticed that Victor Hugo, the Channel Island ferry, is no longer in port.

In actual fact, I saw a photo of her in the harbour of St Helier to where she set off this morning with a ferry-load of passengers, and I was unlucky enough to have missed her

But it just goes to show that she is actually out there working, despite what her prolonged sojourns in the harbour here might suggest.

While we’re on the subject of prolonged sojourns … “well, one of us us” – ed … I could have done with a prolonged sojourn today because while today was an improvement on what was going on last week, it wasn’t as good as the last day or so. It’s a case of one step forward, two steps back unfortunately.

The night was what would be called a very mobile night with a lot going on and I must have travelled miles. And at one point I fell asleep in mid-dictate and there’s a sound file of one hour and 41 minutes, most of which is of me snoring.

And my heart-felt apologies to Percy Penguin (who doesn’t feature in these pages half as often as she deserves) who used to complain that I snored in bed and I always denied it. Well, the evidence is there for everyone to hear.

By 06:45 I was wide awake again and leaving the bed at 07:30 was fairly easy for a change. After the medication and checking my e-mails I sat down and transcribed the dictaphone notes.

All of them.

I started off last night in the Canadian High Arctic working as a radio presenter for some outpost out there in the High Arctic but that’s all that I remember. I can’t remember any details at all about what was happening while I was out there doing it

I was back in this dream about this little girl again. They were doing up her house ready to exhibit it as a museum. They had loads of photos that they were exhibiting, they were doing quizzes about her life etc. I can’t think of her name but it was in the USA cotton belt in the 1920s and 30s, a small child. She was very well-known and very wealthy, from that kind of background, like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. We were going through some paperwork and finding when we got these kids helping us to sort it out. Everyone wanted to be her and be like her even though the period was very depressing and they were living in some very depressing circumstances. All of their family stuff we were finding in this house we were going to exhibit as a museum to her and probably to Disney too. It was taking up a lot of our time and progressing quite slowly. We even found stuff of when she had to capture her cat so that they could take her cat with them on holiday. There were newspaper articles about the cat from Minnesota that was visiting everywhere right now that were going in this girl’s dream, highlights and that sort of thing.

We were back on an island where there was some kind of celebrity living here so we decided that we’d tidy up the island and make it look nice, collect all the rubbish in then go through and find out what she wanted to keep then we could either throw away the rest or sell it. Selling it would bring in some money to the commune because it isn’t really making very much at all. Lots of important things are being missed off due to lack of money. This conversation went on for quite some considerable time with this discussion about all of this tidying up of the island somewhere in the northern hemisphere in the artic before someone pointed out that it is in fact a German citizen, she’ll be real fell asleep here

And when I awoke again I don’t know if I mentioned this actress who lived on this island who was the Queen Bee etc, rules didn’t apply to her. She had a kind-of Jeep and one day she was going somewhere and she cut the corner of the traffic at a road junction and something coming the other way hit her. Although she wasn’t particularly damaged it caused a lot of damage to her car and to the other car and blocked the road for quite some time. Everyone was going around saying how it served her right that it should happen to her, that she received something that she deserved at last and it might teach her to behave with a little more humility even though she’s someone rich and famous

Later on I was in Crewe. I’d been away somewhere and had come back. I had to go into work next morning so I set my alarm. Before I went to bed I’d spoken to Percy Penguin on the phone. For some unknown reason my alarm hadn’t gone off and it was past 09:00 when I awoke and I had to be in work by 10:00 at the latest. I had to run around to wash and change then nip to the grocer’s for some food as I didn’t have any. It was 10:30 before I was ready. I had to walk to work and it was cold and snowing and a long weary trudge through the streets of Crewe, some streets that I didn’t recognise. I couldn’t remember where the office was and I kept on taking wrong turnings. I thought “how on earth am I going to face everyone that I’m turning up for work at this time of day when the working day starts so much earlier than this?”. I was annoyed with Percy Penguin for not having rung me to remind me. I was annoyed with quite a few people who knew that I was back. They could have placed a towel or something under the door and made sure that I was ready for work that next morning. Instead no-one had done that and I was hours late wandering around the streets in a panic.

Then we were all in a car. We’d gone off somewhere and were driving around these streets, a big group of us. The idea was that we had gone to look for some pea soup. We reached a place where we stopped and a few people alighted. Gradually more and more people alighted just leaving me and a girl. We were having a really good chat about something or other and it was quite entertaining. It’s not like me at all to have such a good chat with someone. In fact I ended up being more interested chatting with this girl than in the pea soup. She told me all about pea soup, telling me that the most exciting thing about pea soup was how they got it in. Everyone came back into the car and moved it onto the pavement to park it out of everyone’s way then they all alighted to wander off to find some stuff. This girl and I were still in there chatting. I thought to myself that I’d never had a chat quite like this with a girl before, let alone an interesting chat. It was quite obvious that she was really interested in chatting with me. That’s something I’m not used to at all, people chatting to me in this kind of extremely friendly fashion. I thought that I might be onto something here.

That bit about working on the radio in the Canadian High Arctic was interesting though. A week or so ago CBC (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) was advertising a vacancy for a radio presenter in their outstation at Rankin Inlet in Nunavut in the Canadian High Arctic.

As you might expect I applied for the job and when I checked my e-mails this morning I had a mail from them saying that as the work is in Inuktitut (which I can’t speak very well and which the advert didn’t mention) I couldn’t be considered.

But they have plenty of other vacancies in the High Arctic where English and French are spoken and would I like to send them my CV? I’ll get to the High Arctic yet!

The rest of the day has been spent revising my Welsh, with a couple of moments of falling asleep. Once for about 15 minutes in the morning and also about 25 minutes in the afternoon.

Mind you, I wasn’t able to concentrate very much. I might not be falling asleep as much as I was last week but I’m still pretty much wiped out.

Before lunch I had a good shower and then after lunch I carried on with the revision until it was time for me to go out.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And as usual, the first place where I went was to the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to make sure that the NIKON 1 J5 was still working.

And the port was quite deserted today. The tide was well out as I was going past and by the looks of things it had taken all of the boats with it.

There was no-one playing Musical Ships today. No Gerlean and no L’Omerta either. They must both be out there somewhere in the bay working today.

But there are plenty of vans and lorries at the Fish Processing Plant today. It looks as if they are expecting a busy day today.

No-one over at the ferry terminal either. They must all be having a busy day running out to the Ile de Chausey today

emptying burnt out houses rue du midi Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022On the way down the hill I noticed that there was some activity going on at the burnt-out houses.

By the looks of things they are emptying the houses of furniture and possessions and the like, tipping the stuff into the skip. They may well be starting pretty soon on rebuilding the houses.

And that’s not going to be the work of five minutes either.

Down in the town I stopped at the Post Office to post a letter and then carried on to the physiotherapist. It was more difficult than the walk on Monday and I had to stop a few times for breath.

The exercises were a little easier though although I’m totally dismayed about my loss of balance. Just a few years ago I was running up and down along beams on the roof and along the floor of my house. I can’t even stand on one leg these days.

After 10 minutes on the exercise bike (that wasn’t easy in this heat) to finish off she threw me out and I staggered down the hill into town.

The climb back up the hill towards home was much more difficult than it was the last time that I did it too. I seem to be having a relapse.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Before I went back in I walked over to the wall to have a look down onto the beach to see what was happening.

Plenty of beach and plenty of people on it too. Not that I’m surprised because it really was a gorgeous day today.

Back here I made myself a smoothie and tried to concentrate on my Welsh revision but it really was hard to do so, tired as I was. and I drifted away for my second bout of sleep s well at one point.

No tea tonight. There was the last of the revision sessions, three hours from 19:00 to 22:00. I grabbed a packet of crackers and during the pause I had a bowl of porridge.

But at least I seem to have got the hang of these discussion points and was able to have a few good conversations about some of them. These gap-filling questions are another thing entirely and if I’m going to fall down anywhere, that will be where it is.

Having written my notes I’m off to bed. Revision in the morning and my exam is at 15:00. And then the next part of the adventure depends on how I feel.

Whatever I do, I must remember to set an alarm for my exam. I don’t want to miss it after all of this effort.

Tuesday 7th June 2022 – THIS WAS ANOTHER …

… day that I’d much rather forget, because I’ve spent most of it asleep again.

Surprisingly the day started quite well because I was wide-awake shortly after 07:00 and didn’t have any trouble at all leaving the bed at 07:30 when the alarm went off. But that was as good as it got.

After the medication I came back in here to prepare for my Welsh course, and I promptly fell asleep. And not just for a few minutes either but for over an hour and that was disappointing. Even more disappointing was that Zero didn’t come to watch over me while I was asleep, like she did yesterday.

Eventually I managed to find the strength to prepare for the Welsh lesson, and actually it didn’t go too badly. I was actually surprised with what I could remember and that’s not like me at all.

When the lesson finished I went for a shower and a good scrub up, and I actually smell quite nice for a change.

Lunch was quite late, what with one thing and another, and then fighting off waves of sleep I headed off out.

gerlean port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There was no physiotherapy yesterday because it was a Bank Holiday, but she had offered me a session today.

So on my way out I stopped at the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to see what was happening down in the port.

And it looks as if we are back playing another game of “musical ships”. L’Omerta isn’t there this afternoon nut in her place today is Gerlean.

There’s another boat moored behind her too but I can’t see who she is from here. Whoever she is, she’s quite small so she can’t be anyone special.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There was plenty of activity going on in the Baie de Mont St Michel this afternoon too.

One of the sailing schools has gone out there and they are all having a really good time, being shepherded around by a couple of zodiacs.

One of these days I’ll be out there with them. I haven’t forgotten that. But I just don’t know when I’m going to find the time what with everything that I have going on right now, physiotherapy, language lessons, hospital appointments and all of that.

But anyway, that’s something to worry about for another time. I headed off down the hill towards the town.

la grande ancre p692 maroni gendarme maritime port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022The other day we saw one of the Gendarme Maritime boats, P692 Maroni, in port.

There’s one moored over there against the wall today as well. Of course I can’t say whether it’s Maroni, but it would be most unlikely to be a different one.

Plenty of smaller boats over there as well, and we can recognise La Grande Ancre amongst them.

The walk up the hill was total agony. It was just like the dark days of last summer when I was at my worst. Just recently I’ve been making it all the way up the hill in one go but today I lost count of how many times I had to stop for breath

She put me through my paces for a while and then we finished off with 10 minutes on the exercise bike. Luckily she didn’t wind it full up otherwise I would never have managed it.

My plan when she threw me out was to go round to Lidl for some shopping but I was honestly in no state whatever to go there today. Instead, I went to the Carrefour across the road for just enough apples and onions to see me through until the weekend.

kiddies roundabout biofood stalls place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Back in the centre of the town the kiddies’ roundabout was still there.

It’s certainly smaller than the pink one that used to come here, about which there was all of that fuss with the mairie.

And with it being Tuesday, it’s the bio market in the Place General de Gaulle and you can see a couple of stalls in the background. But it’s not much of a bio market at all. Last time I looked, there were only two stalls and that’s not going to change significantly anyone’s eating habits.

But the walk back home was pretty awful again with several stops for breath. I’m definitely right out of this.

omerta hera victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022A little earlier we saw Gerlean moored at the quayside by the fish processing plant and you were probably wandering where L’Omerta, who usually lives there, was moored.

She’s actually just there in the inner harbour, just to prove that she can do it at times when she wants to. It’s just a mystery why she doesn’t want to do it all the time.

Also in shot is the trawler Hera on her way back to the quayside after a day out fishing in the bay. And Victor Hugo is there too. One of these days we’ll see her actually taking passengers out to the Channel Islands, although I’m not holding my breath.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Before going into the apartment for a coffee I went to look down onto the beach.

There were just one or two people down there this afternoon, and no-one brave enough to go into the water. It was a nice afternoon, but clearly not that nice.

Back in the apartment I made myself a coffee but before I could drink it, I crashed out. And I was out for 90 minutes too in a really deep sleep.

One of the things that was disappointing about that was that after yesterday, Zero didn’t come to watch over me while I was asleep. That was something that I actually found extremely touching. I’m not used to people being so solicitous about my welfare.

It’s a shame that it never happens in real life. But then again I would take Zero in a dream watching over me rather than anyone whom I know in real life.

While I was drinking my very cold coffee later on I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There was a young person, a little person running around creating mayhem in a kitchen somewhere that was doing something for a fair or a fête or something but that’s all that I can remember.

And then I was on a beach somewhere but it wasn’t a beach it was a snow field. It was like a holiday thing and a meeting and we’d all connected to the internet to try to follow this meeting. I’d managed to make a connection and I could follow it vaguely although it was clicking in and out. There were a few things that needed to be doing here and there and I could follow them vaguely. The girl in charge of it was coming round. She came to me and asked me how I was doing. I showed her that everything seemed to be fine and working after a fashion so she left me to it. People started breaking up and drifting away as it was starting to go dark and cold. I didn’t see much point in being here for very much longer so I was planning on drifting away as well, I reckoned, and seeing what maybe tomorrow might bring or later on that night somewhere else might happen

Tea was a taco roll with rice and veg and then I sat down to type up my notes. I had intended to deal with my Welsh notes for my exam once I’d finished but Rosemary rang to tell me about her trip to the mairie with her Ukrainian refugees in order to start their registration process. That should keep her busy for the next few weeks.

But right now I’m off to bed. An early night because I have a lot to do. Here’s hoping that I can do it without falling asleep. Or if I do, then that Zero will come to watch over me while I’m sleeping.

Tuesday 31st May 2022 – I’VE HAD A …

… really miserable day today and I’ve absolutely no idea why. I thought that having stopped taking that medication 10 days or so ago would have seen an end to days like I had today, but aparently not..

During the night I had a visitor. Zero came to see me but you really don’t want to know about it, especially if you are eating your evening meal right now.

But I reckon that it was her visit that set me off because I couldn’t go back to sleep after her visit and that was hardly surprising. It’s been a good while since I’ve had such a disturbing experience.

When the alarm went off at 07:30 I fell out of bed and went off to have my medication. and then I came back in here and … errr … fell asleep.

And fell asleep in spades too. I couldn’t even make it to my feet for breakfast this morning. I was out like a light for well over two hours and it’s a good job that I didn’t have a Welsh lesson today.

Instead I had a listen to the dictaphone because there was something else on there. There was a hotel in Sandbach and we had to go there to find some oil. It was very late at night so we had to be quiet. A wedding had taken place and they were still celebrating. They had the bride and groom’s room all done out and a Vietnam minefield sign written on the door etc. There were drunk people everywhere. We were on the 3rd floor of this hotel and this was the way out to Bayley Close which is actually in Nantwich but let’s not go letting facts get in the way of a good nocturnal ramble. We were wandering around this hotel trying to find what we were looking for. It was just like one great big maze although it was a small provincial hotel. We were quite lost in it trying to find whatever it was that we wanted. We couldn’t make a noise because of the time and no-one seemed to be in any kind of fit state to ask. We were just going round in circles.

It hadn’t escaped my notice that the details of Zero’s visit weren’t on the dictaphone. It’s hardly surprising that I couldn’t bring myself to dictate them, even when I’m in the arms of Morpheus. That’s not something that happens very often.

And so for the rest of the morning I’ve been writing notes about “my favourite place” for my Welsh exam. And that includes topics that can be covered in “my last holiday”, “celebration”, “family and friends”. It’s all interlinked and the deeper into things I go, the clearer it will all become.

It ended up being a late lunch and then I came back in here and fell asleep again for an hour or so. And it’s really getting on my wick now.

new kerb place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Just for a change, I managed to do something on time this afternoon.

Yes, I staggered off outside for my afternoon walk bang on time to see what was happening around the headland. But first I went to look at what they had been doing with this kerbstone that they had been laying just outside the door here.

By the looks of things, they have just been straightening out the road layout and the junction of the driveway that leads into the car park. And I can’t think why because while it was a bit untidy here, it wasn’t actually anything that was in desperate need of attention.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Having resolved that issue I wandered off across the car park to have a look at what was happening down on the beach.

It was quite a nice clear day so I was expecting to see a few people down there this afternoon but surprisingly there can’t have been more than three or four people down there this afternoon that I could see.

The tide was quite a way out so they had plenty of beach to be on as well. But there wasn’t anyone brave enough this afternoon to be in the water.

And no Birdmen of Alcatraz out there this afternoon on their Nazguls.

st helier jersey Eric Hall photo May 2022One thing that I do have to say is that the air was one of the clearest that I have ever seen.

We’ve seen a few photos of that white building in St Helier in the past but what was surprising about today was that I could actually see it with the naked eye even though it is 58 kilometres away.

Although the ferry service is said to have started up again and I’ve seen photos of Granville arriving in St Helier, her older sister Victor Hugo is still tied up here in port where she has been for the last couple of weeks so I’m beginning to wonder what the situation might be with regard to the services to Jersey from here.

It’s one of the things that has quite a high priority on my bucket list and yet I haven’t seen a single advert about the operation as yet.

trawler ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So while I was up here on the wall I had a good look around out at sea as well.

There was something way out in the bay over by the Ile de Chausey so I took a photograph of it with the aim of having a closer look when I returned home.

And having enlarged and enhanced it back here, I could see that it was a trawler busily working away. Unfortunately, at this distance I’m not able to identify it

But you can see how clear the skies are today, just by looking at the colours in this photograph. It’s not often that the come out so clearly and so vividly as they have done today.

plage de la touesse brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There weren’t very many people wandering around on the path so I headed off down towards the end of the headland.

You saw the Cap Fréhel the other day so you don’t really want to see it again so soon. Instead, you can see one of the beaches that are over on the Brittany coast near St Malo.

There are four or five of them over there and it’s difficult to say which one this is. But I think that it may well be the Plage De La Touesse. It’s the only one whose orientation matches the orientation of the beach over there and isn’t hidden behind a headland of rocks

f-gifn Piper PA-28-161 Cadet baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022A little earlier I mentioned that there were no Birdmen of Alcatraz out there this afternoon.

What we did have though is a light aeroplane flying by overhead. This one is F-GIFN, a Piper PA-28-161 Cadet. She’s actually appeared in our pages before, back in February when she flew into the bay from an unknown direction , flew around and then disappeared.

Today, she did exactly the same. She didn’t come in to land at the airfield here, she didn’t appear on radar and she hasn’t filed a flight plan and so I can’t tell you any more at all about her.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There weren’t very many peole on the car park this afternoon so I wandered off down tot he end of the headland.

There wasn’t anyone sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban this afternoon, but we did actually have a fisherman down there on the rocks with his rod and line.

Not that he actually caught anything while I was watching but I didn’t really expect him to.

So after a wait of a couple of minutes I wandered off along the path down the other side of the headland to see what was happening down in the port

l'ecume 2 cabin cruiser chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And we have a new occupant in the chantier naval this afternoon.

L’Ecume II is still there today. It looks as if work on her has slowed down just now. But my eye was caught by the boat that is in there with her.

That’s a serious piece of kit, whatever it is. It really looks the business and it’s the type of machine that any one of us is likely to be able to afford, although I’m sure that we all would love to.

It seems to be quite new as well so it’s a surprise to see it in here in the chantier naval. I’ll have to go down there and find out who owns it and see if I can’t blag myself a trip out on it.

joly france belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But at the moment this is more like what I’m able to afford right now.

Over there at the ferry terminal is the new Belle France and one of the Joly France boats, presuably going to go out to the island on the evening tide to bring back to holidaymakers who are out there.

Back here I made myself a coffee and came in here to drink it. Instead I fell asleep again and ended up once more with a mug of cold coffee. This is really awful and I can’t be doing with this. Obviously this medication isn’t the secret.

And after my cold coffee I spent an hour or so writing notes about “sports”, another subject for my Welsh exam.

Tea was a taco roll with rice and veg, and now I’m off to bed. I’ve had enough for today. It really was awful, especially having a nightmare about Zero. I really can’t keep going on like this. Let’s see what this sports doctor person has to say for himself tomorrow morning.

Tuesday 24th May 2022 – WELL, JUST LOOK AT …

fisherman with catch pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… this! We were only talking about this a couple of days ago.

If you look very closely at this photo you’ll see, dangling on the end of the line just above the water, is what looks suspiciously like a small fish on his hook.

Of course, it could well be something that our fisherman might be using as bait to catch something larger, but on the other hand it could be the encouraging sign that one of our fishermen has at long last managed to pull something out of the water while we were watching.

Wonders will never cease. At least I won’t be quite so quick to pour scorn on the activities of the fishermen in the future. As is said in Proverbs Chapter 16 Verse 18, “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall”

normandy warrior baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But here’s something else that I was much more pleased to see this afternoon.

As I walked around the headland, just pulling out of the harbour was Normandy Warrior on her way back to Jersey, having presumably picked up the swimming pool and the speedboat that have been on the quayside for the last couple of days.

Apart from the fact that we know that her sister, Normandy Trader, is currently in dock being overhauled, we can tell that this is Normandy Warrior because she doesn’t have the raised deck at the back of the wheelhouse.

marité english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Something else that caught my eye, miles out in the English Channel beyond the Ile de Chausey was this sailing ship.

As to who she is, I wouldn’t really like to say. It’s true that Marité wasn’t in the harbour this afternoon but that array of masts and rigging on that ship in the distance doesn’t look as if if belongs to her.

and unfortunately, I have too admit that when I returned to my apartment after my walk, I forgot to look at the radar to see if I could identify her from there.

Do you ever have that feeling that it’s really not your day today?

normandy warrior baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So while you admire a few more photos of Normandy Warrior loaded up to the gunwhales with freight and on her way back to the island, let me tell you something about my day today.

Just by way of a change, I was in bed at something like a respectable time – 23:30 if I remember correctly – but in the absence of this night-time medication it takes me an age to drop off to sleep.

But sleep I did, eventually, and I was once more wide awake a good few minutes before the alarm went off at 07:30. Mind you, it was more of a struggle to leave the bed this morning than it has been of late.

As I said the other day, I’m not out of the woods quite yet. I’ve just moved into different woods.

normandy warrior baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022It took me a while to make a start on work today as well, and that’s something of a change from the last couple of days too.

There was a Welsh lesson this morning so I had to prepare. It’s about this fifth time that I’ve prepared this particular lesson, what with one thing and another.

And it didn’t go as well as I would have liked it to either. I just couldn’t get going this morning.

And it’s half-term next week as well so there are no lessons either. As far as I’m concerned, this is the wrong time to be having a pause, what with my exam coming up in less than 4 weeks’ time. I’m going to have to do better than this if I want a decent result.

After lunch, I had an urgent task to perform.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022On Sunday I forgot to make some fruit bread and then I promptly forgot on Monday too. And so this afternoon, having been living on toast for the last few days I made myself a big batch of fruit buns.

For some reason I ended up with a dollop of dough that was much bigger than usual and instead of making a batch of 8, it made a batch of 12. And it mixed together quite nicely too. In fact, one of the best that I have made.

And so I left it to proof for a while and after I came back from my afternoon walk I baked them in the oven. And they look, and smell delicious too. I can’t wait to sample one for my breakfast tomorrow.

In the cake tin now are enough to last me up to the weekend and the rest are in the freezer.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Anyway, with the dough busily proofing, I wandered off outside for my afternoon walk around the headland.

And as usual, I went across the car park to look over the wall down onto the beach to see what was happening there.

Surprisingly, I couldn’t actually see anyone down there this afternoon. It was actually quite a nice, warm day without very much wind. Just the kind of weather to bring out the crowds, but in fact I couldn’t see a soul.

So I’ve no idea at all where everyone had gone to this afternoon. Presumably they were all watching the fisherman pulling that tiddler out of the water.

trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And while I was there leaning on the wall I had a look around out to sea to see what was happening there.

Way out in the bay was a trawler – well, at least, I think that it’s a trawler but it has a superstructure like no other trawler that I have ever seen here in Granville. Mind you, it was wandering slowly up and down out there as a trawler might do if it were to have its nets out.

It’s a convention of the sea that a trawler with its nets out has to show a white light as a warning to other maritime traffic but at this kind of distance in daylight I wouldn’t be able to see it.

And as you have probably noticed, it’s another day with really good visibility. You can see the island of Jersey quite clearly in the background.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Yes, I mentioned that the view this afternoon was really quite impressive.

Once more, we can see the Ile de Chausey in all of its glory, with the colours being quite clear without all that much enhancing.

But surprisingly, even though we can see for miles, we can’t see any maritime traffic at all out there in the vicinity of the island. Not a yacht, not a cabin cruiser, not a speedboat.

And certainly not one of the ferries. This would have been a really nice day to have gone out there for a walk around the island. But just like the ferries to the Channel Islands – they don’t seem to be doing very much in the way of marketing here. It’s all very well running ferries and the like, but you need to let people know all about them.

cabin cruisers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022It wasn’t just out at sea or on the rocks that we had the fishermen this afternoon.

As I walked off along the path towards the end of the headland, a couple of cabin cruisers came around the headland in the other direction. The only thing that sprung to my mind was that they were fishermen looking for a cosy spec for a couple of hours before the tide goes back out.

There were quite a few people on the path this afternoon as well so I had to fight my way around, yet for once there was no-one on the bench by the cabanon vauban. First thime that we’ve ever seen a fisherman pull something out of the water and there wasn’t anyone there to watch it.

yellow autogyro baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Here’s someone who we haven’t seen for quite a while.

We’ve seen the red and the yellow powered hang gliders quite often just recentlly but the yellow autogyro has been conspicuous by its absence. But today while I was walking across the car park at the end of the headland it flew past overhead.

Incidentally, there was something in the newspaper about someone who was 98 going for a flight in one of the light aircraft that operate from the airfield. That had me thinking that if I don’t get a move on and do something, I’ll probably be older than that by the time that I actually take to the air.

gerlean ch640361 nais port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Down at the port by the fish processing plant, it looks like we’re having another game of musical ships.

The other day we had L’Omerta and Petite Laura. And then yesterday we had L’Omerta and Gerlean. Today it’s the turn of Gerlean and Nais to hold the fort.

Back here I brushed the bread rolls with milk and brown sugar and then put them in the oven to bake while I came in here with my mug of coffee where I … errr … fell asleep for a few minutes.

And to my surprise, there was nothing on the dictaphone through the night. It looks as if I had a really good sleep for a change, even though it didn’t feel much like it when I awoke.

Tea was a taco roll with the left-over stuffing from yesterday, and it was even more delicious than yesterday.

But now it’s bedtime. Another long, interrupted sleep like last night and I’ll probably feel even worse.

It reminds me of Pyrrus of Epirus, who said after his victory against the Romans at the Battle of Asculum, “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined”

Thursday 19th May 2022 – JUST IN CASE …

… you’re wondering, which I’m sure you aren’t because I’m as fed up as you are, there wasn’t any change today in the way things worked out.

So there wasn’t all that much of a morning to do things in but I was working out a couple of plans for later next month. My Welsh exam is on 17th June and then I might go off on my travels for a while. I’m not doing much good here so I may as well not do much good somewhere else.

While I was at it I managed to fit in the time to go for a shower and a good clean-up.

After lunch I had a Welsh conversation class which wasn’t as long as it ought to have been because firstly I had to finish early to go for my physiotherapy appointment and secondly it took an age for me to connect up to the chat. It really was steam-driven internet here today.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So eventually I had to wander off out for my physiotherapy appointment this afternoon.

As usual I went for a look down into the port from the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

And for a change we haven’t seen L’Omerta settled down in the silt for the last few days. She must have gone out to sea to earn an honest living.

Incidentally, you are probably wondering what the “2E et 202E de Ligne” refers to in the name of the street. It actually refers to the “2nd and 202nd (Regiments) of the Line” – the two infantry regiments that were housed in the buildings here where I live when they were military barracks before the army sold them off in the late 80s.

marite port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022With nothing much else going on around here I headed off down the hill towards the town.

And for a change just recently, Marité is tied up at her berth this afternoon. It looks as if she might be having a day off today.

There are a few people loitering around on the quayside but I don’t think that they will be going aboard because she doesn’t have a gangplank out to the quayside.

And the speedboat that was there yesterday is still there today. No-one has been in from Jersey with a freighter to take it away so far today.

bar ephemere place pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Things seem to be happening at Chez Maguie, the Bar Ephemère that opens every summer on the Place Pelley.

Never mind the boulonauts, the café tables now seem to have grown some orange parasols to shelter everone from the sun and, more likely, the torrential thunderstorms that we’ve been having this last couple of days.

As seems to be the case these days I didn’t enjoy the walk up the hill to the physiotherapist. I’m not doind as well as I did a couple of weeks ago and even then, that was nothing to write home about.

The physiotherapist put me through my paces again this afternoon. I’m sure that it’s a case of “kill or cure” with her. She’s certainly having a good go at finishing me off.

electricians working rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022At the end of my session I staggered out into the street and reeled off down the hill into the town centre.

The last time we came by this way, which was on Monday, we saw the electricians at work laying cables in the conduits under the pavement. And they are still at it today, but their tent has moved a few feet down the hill to another manhole.

The walk up the hill towards home was another desperate struggle with me having to stop for breath on several occasions. I was thinking that if I’m like this after just 10 days of being without my hospital treatment, what am I going to be like after 13 weeks?

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022When I (finally) reached the top of the hill, after much binding in the marsh, I didn’t go straight home.

Instead, I went down to the end of the car park to have a look over the wall to see what was happening down on the beach this afternoon.

It had been a lovely day – in fact I’d been out to the physiotherapist in just a tee-shirt without wearing a jacket or a jumper – so I was expecting to see the crowds down there this afternoon so it was rather disappointing to see so few people.

There wasn’t anything going on out at sea either. Mind you, I only had the NIKON 1 J5 with the standard lens so even if there had been something happening, the tide was so far out that I wouldn’t have been able to see it anyway.

hang glider plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022However in the distance there were couple of bird-men of Alcatraz trying their best to take to the air with their Nazguls.

They seemed to be having an enormous amount of difficulty so I waited for a while to give them a chance to approach me but in the end I ran out of patience and went indoors for a strawberry smoothie.

And then I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There was something about spies. We were actually catching a spy in Wales on the Lleyn peninsula. Right at the very end we put his body back in the water hoping that the current would catch it and take it out to sea. There was much more to it than this and I remember thinking that this would have made a really good plot for a book. Then there was Mildred Murfin and two men a bit like the Men from the Ministry. She was planning on going on holiday with them but of course they weren’t used to going on holiday. It was all a bit of a mess, packing and preparing everything etc. One of them turned up at her apartment dressed in his pyjamas saying that he wasn’t going. He didn’t think that it was him so she had to cajole him along to try to take the few final steps to prepare his things ready to catch his flight. They were all typical British holidaymakers of the 60s going abroad with no idea what to expect, no idea what to do or what to take etc, all very naive and all really rather a sad dream watching them try to prepare to leave on this holiday of a lifetime.

There was a married couple, two kids and me somewhere in Central Europe. They were something like a Romany family. We were all going off to stay somewhere in a caravan for 2 weeks. I was driving and I didn’t recognise the car that I had. We were all going to this caravan by the sea somewhere. I can’t remember anything about it at all, what was happening. I know that in the end everyone ended up leaving the car, leaving me in it. There were a couple of little girls who had come to meet the youngest of these two children to go to a dancing class. There was going to be a football match with all the kids against the adults but that’s all that I can remember.

We were listening to a Gospel-rock song by “Arrival” although it was in fact mostly “Alquin” musicians with Dyan Birch singing. For some unknown reason the guitar solo wasn’t what I wanted at all. I had an earlier guitar solo for that track stashed away somewhere so I edited out the guitar solo that was being played and superimposed the one from earlier in its place. I mentioned to the musicians that I’d changed guitar solo and the guitarist was distraught. He was unhappy with his own playing rather than anything else. I explained that it wasn’t a case that the playing was bad, simply a case that it was inappropriate for what I wanted. He was still inconsolable about it but I went ahead and changed the solo anyway. The other group members didn’t seem to be all that concerned at all.

This is about the 6th attempt at dictating this. I’d had all of the motor insurance renewals for France and I’d noticed that the premiums had gone up quite a lot so I’d gone round to the broker’s. They told me that much of it related to the yellow Cortina saloon because with it being parked up the premiums had gone up because some actuary had worked out that cars are more at risk of accidents when they are stationary than when they are actually moving. I thought that that was absolute nonsense. Maybe they disagreed with me but they couldn’t agree with the actuarial report. It was a girl with a cleft palate who saw me so it was very difficult to understand what she was saying. The thalidomide girl was involved in the discussion as well at some point. I learnt as well that they were going to drop down and possess part of my yard where the building was, taking away 1500m² that I owned there so that they could make a by-pass around the town. That was going to be even worse for me because I had nowhere else to keep anything. This was turning into a very bad situation for me. I wasn’t enjoying what I was hearing at all today. The boss was very unhappy with the fact that I was complaining but I thought that I was well within my rights to complain about this kind of thing.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bap with a baked potato and veg – well, only half the veg because the other half ended up on the floor. It’s not my day today, is it?

and the fridge needs defrosting so I’m going to deal with that before I go to bed. One of these days things will start to go right for me, although God knows when that might be.

Sunday 15th May 2022 – TODAY HAS BEEN ANOTHER …

… day when I have lived up to the efforts of my namesake the mathematician and done “three fifths of five eights of … errr … absolutely nothing”.

And that’s with an alarm going off at 07:30 too, And that’s nothing like usual for a Sunday morning, is it?

But having signed up for a weekend Welsh course, the least that I can do is to take full advantage of what is on offer. The Cyndeithas Genedleithol is having a huge push with its target of a million Welsh speakers by 2025 so I may as well make the most of it and learn the language of my grandmother, and what should have been my father’s and our language had my grandmother not been so concerned about her descendants being on the receiving end of prejudice and hatred.

Such was the thinking in the 1920s and 30s and there are still vestiges of it existing today.

Anyway, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m not a morning person by any means. I’m a night own. So I’ve no idea what on earth possessed them in sending me first for my mock oral at 09:30.

And it started off as badly as it could be. I was given an advert with gaps in it and I had to ask questions so as to fill in the gaps. And the first gap I could make absolutely no sense of it whatsoever and in the end the examiner had to help me out. Be sy’n digwydd yn Llanaber? – “What’s happening in Llanaber?”. Dw i ddim yn gwybod – “I don’t know”. “So why don’t you ask?”

OK – be sy’n digwydd yn Llanaber?. Easy, wasn’t it?

During the speaking park I gradually warmed up although I did say that I went to watch my friends rather than see my friends, and when it was my turn to ask questions of the examiner apparently I did very well with that. In fact, what should have been a 10-minute oral exam ended up being 25 minutes.

Getting me talking is never a problem. It’s more of a problem getting me to shut up.

Having got that out of the way I joined my class and that’s how I spent most of the day. During my lunch break I nipped off for a trip around the headland.

After lunch we carried on again right through to the end with me fighting off wave after wave of sleep and even the tutor was struggling, setting us tasks that weren’t on the worksheet and expecting us to know the answer.

When we finally finished, I had another few jobs to do. No more bread and no more pizza dough so I had to make another pile of stuff. And I’ve gone back to using processed bleached flour for the pizza because it’s easier to manipulate and makes a much better pizza. IN fact it was delicious.

The bread was wonderful too but all of this meant that I didn’t have my tea until very late.

So I haven’t transcribed the notes on the dictaphone and I haven’t done the photos. I’ll have my work cut out tomorrow at this rate.