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.
As 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.
While 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.
And 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).
She 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.
Jamais 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.
There 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.
Some 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?
Over 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.
Mind 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.
Things 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.
One 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.