Category Archives: nais

Sunday 14th August 2022 – WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT!

It actually rained today. And I missed most of it.

When I (eventually) awoke this morning (yes it was morning) the bright blue sky that we had had for the last I don’t know how long had changed into a woolly grey mass of cloud and the temperature was probably 10°C cooler too. Not that you’d know it in here because being a stone building with walls 1.20m thick it managed to avoid the extremes of temperature that we have outside.

Mind you, it wasn’t far off midnight. That’s because come 03:00 this morning I was still up and about. I’ve no idea what time I eventually went to bed but I was glad that I wasn’t going out at 08:30 this morning.

In actual fact I was awake at 10:20 but there wasn’t all that much likelihood of me showing a leg at that time. It was much more like 11:00 when I finally staggered into the daylight and went for my medication, feeling quite grateful that I’d prepared the music for the radio yesterday instead of trying to do it today.

Back in here, in a mad fit of enthusiasm and I’ve no idea where that came from, I listened to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. There was a house somewhere down Minshull New Road or somewhere like that, a council house. I don’t know what I was doing in it but it was filthy, dirty, dusty, overfull of furniture etc. The only way out was to climb through a window, one of the smaller fanlight windows at the top. I’d been doing that for a while here and there. One day a girl in there got hold of me, told me her name and told me that she lived in this house and that she was fed up of people coming in and going out again through the window. I made a facetious remark about going out of the door which didn’t go down very well. I said “never mind. I’ll write you an apology. It’s no problem to me” so we agreed that I would write her an apology and she would accept it. We had a chat and she was saying how she hated this house and how she was hoping to move etc, quite a long discussion. In the end I decided that I had to go. Of course the only way out was through the window. I went to open the window which for some unknown reason wasn’t easy today. While I was at it two dogs, a big one and a small one came up and started gnawing at my leg. Then some old man came in and asked what I was doing. I explained to him and explained that I’d seen the girl. He didn’t seem to be all that pleased and was making up all kinds of reasons for it to be extremely difficult for me to climb out of that window. I was determined that I was going anyway. We were talking about travelling around the world. I said that I’d met some interesting people. He asked if I’d been to Moscow so I replied “yes”. He asked if I’d ever been to New York so I replied “yes”. He said that the World Trade Centre has only been down a few years so I replied that I’d been to New York a lot longer than those had been down. We had quite an acrimonious discussion, polite but bad-tempered. All the time I was trying to go out through this window so that I could leave but everything seemed to be conspiring against me to stop me going and to keep me in this flaming filthy, dusty, dirty house.

Later on I was at work. I’d been promoted and was working with the inspectors. We received certain information about different things and I suggested ways of dealing with it that were unorthodox but were bound to bring in results and weren’t illegal. Everyone looked at me strangely and as we didn’t have the staff we put it on the back burner for the moment. In the afternoon we were invited to a beach party so we went down there. A lot of the people were playing beach volleyball but I was peering through some papers that I’d brought with me sitting in the sun. I thought “when I’ve finished these papers I can go and join in the volleyball”. But everyone suddenly packed up and started to move. Someone asked where they were going and the response was “guess”. It turned out that they were all heading to the local night club because even though it wasn’t night time it was probably open by now. I had no intention whatever of going there but one has to be sociable. Just then some woman from the office came by with a huge folder and said “guess what I have in here”. I know that I was trying to lay my hands on a folder for work so I said the name. She said “no. It’s a list of all second-homes and country cottages in the UK”. I suggested that these be compared with the owners. If necessary we could make enquiries about them and tie them up to their owners and see what comes of it. Someone was there, a Prophet of Doom, saying that it would never work, that’s totally illegal” which of course it was nonsense. I was trying to argue my particular corner. For some reason these people seemed to be totally devoid of any imagination and were totally unlikely to make anything work with the kind of imagination that they had.

That’s one thing that I’ve noticed since I left the UK in 1992. These days British people seem to fall at the first fence when they are trying to do something. When a problem arises or a technical hitch develops or something goes wrong or a machine breaks or a plan needs developing, the first setback is enough to make them throw in the towel.

We were always taught to use our imagination, to think, and work out a workaround and I used to have loads of fun doing that. But I seem to be one of a very small breed of people today. It reminds me of the saying “99% of the population has problems, but the rest of us have solutions”.

After lunch I came back in here but strangely, I can’t remember now what I did. I know that I didn’t fall asleep, that is a surprise in itself these days. I managed to keep on going until it was time to go walkies but just as I was about to step out of the door Ingrid rang.

We ended up having a marathon session on the telephone too seeing as it’s been a while since we last spoke, and the result of all of this was that I was considerably late going for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual the first thing that I did was to go over to the wall at the end of the car park to look down on the beach.

There were hordes of people down there this afternoon but they weren’t there for the sunbathing.

That was because
1) there was no sun
2) It’s the time for the pèche à pied and they were all mainly down there at the water’s edge having a scratch around to see what they could pull up

bouchot farm donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And with the tide being quite well out, it was all systems go further down the coast.

At Donville les Bains there’s a bouchot farm and you can see all of the stakes planted in the sand. Someone made an accidental discovery that if you leave ropes and things in the water the shellfish will actually grow on them in preference to the sand.

And that’s quite a delicacy too because the shellfish aren’t full of sandy grit and taste so much better.

Why that works so well here, apart from the fact that we have so much shellfish, is that with the high tides, the ropes and stakes can be well-submerged for growing the shellfish but at low tide they are out of the water and can be harvested and the equipment maintained quite easily.

medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022But here’s an example of an earlier generation of fish traps.

This is the kind of thing that would have been common in medieval times. They would build a wall of loose-fitting stones across a bay or estuary so that at high tide, water and the fish therein would over flow behind the wall. And as the tide went out, the water would exfiltrate through the gaps in the stones leaving the fish behind.

And then all of your medieval fishwives would wade in and catch the fish with their bare hands ready for supper.

It’s the kind of thing that would still work today if it were properly maintained.

lifeguard tidal swimming pool plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There’s a sort-of modern version of it here.

That’s the tidal swimming pool at the Plat Gousset and the principle is the same. And today it seems to have caught quite a few fish of the two-legged variety in its trap.

The person in the fluorescent yellow jacket is the lifeguard. There is a handful of them scattered around at various places on the beach keeping an eye on the activities and making sure that no-one is swept away.

Not that they are likely to be swept away in the tidal swimming pool but you never know your luck, I suppose.

place marechal foch Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022From there I wandered off to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

Whenever we’ve seen that just recently it’s been heaving with people on the beach taking the sun but not today. There aren’t too many people down there in this weather. They are all wandering around the Place Marechal Foch.

But what caught my eye in this photo was the long queue of traffic coming down the hill into town. I can’t remember ever having seen a traffic jam quite like that in all the time that I’ve been living here

police interaction with mtorcyclist avenue de la liberation Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The reason for that might be something not unconnected with what’s going on in this photo.

These days it seems that you can’t go anywhere without attracting the attention of the local farces of Law and Order. And a couple of Granville’s finest seem to be rather more than interested in what this biker is up to with his machine.

In actual fact there were four policemen altogether and maybe they were performing a spot check of vehicles entering the town.

Nevertheless it’s good to see them going for the same old stereotyped victims. Nothing much changes, despite the passage of time.

crowds rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022another reason might be that the town centre is all closed off to through traffic today.

No vehicles are allowed in there right now and so they are having to go around the outside. That means that gordes of pedestrians can roam around the streets in perfect safety to their hearts’ content.

Rather bad luck if you live in the town centre and need your car, but never mind.

When I lived in Brussels we had a car-free day one Sunday every year. All of the public transport was free and there were all kinds of entertainments in the street.

Where I lived was on a hill on the edge of the city centre and you could see the dramatic improvement in air quality down below by the end of the day.

le coelacanthe le tiberiade suzanga massabielle nais port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022My route from here took me through the Place Maurice Marland.

My seagull chick wasn’t there today so maybe it had gone off for a fly around with its mum. I hope that it wasn’t the one that I saw dead by the side of the street on Friday.

There was plenty of activity in the harbour this afternoon. It doesn’t look as if anyone had gone out working. Over there on the back wall we had Le Coelacanthe and little sister le Tiberiade. You can tell them apart in this photo as the gormer has the wings to its bridge.

In the foreground from left to right we have the new Suzanga, the blue Massabielle and on the right, the little white Nais.with red and yellow stripes.

Plenty of others too that didn’t make it into the photograph which was a shame.

marité philcathane chausiase port Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022 Over there in the bay where the gravel boats used to tie up is the trawler Philcathane

The other two boats that are there, I didn’t expect to see them here today. Marité for example, the wooden sailing ship. With it being a Sunday in the middle of the tourist season I would have thought that she would have gone out and about into the bay with a crowd of passengers to earn a few bob while the going was good.

As for Chausiaise, a friend of mine in St Helier sent me a photo this morning of her over there in jersey. The freight situation is definitely hotting up here if she’s being pressed into service.

Victor Hugo, the Channel Islands ferry isn’t here though. She spent yesterday and today running around the Channel Islands but she’s back in port by the time that I’m writing this.

book fair rue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022From here I headed for home through the old town.

It’s book fair today and everyone had set out their stall to sell their surplus books. But by the time that I arrived here it was quite late and most people had packed up and had gone home.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall me talking about the Monegasque Royal Family and their connections here when one of the Grimaldis married a local girl. The browny-grey granite house on the street corner on the left is where she lived.

peche a pied baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Carrying on homewards I had a look over the wall and out into the bay.

A little earlier I mentioned the pèche à pied. Over there you can still see a few people out there but they are now heading for safety as the tide is coming in. And it comes in here quite rapidly too so they don’t want to be caught hanging about.

It was raining ever so slightly as I reached home and that’s a good thing as this are has been declared in a State of Emergency because of the drought. But we’ll need much more rain than this to do any good. Probably about a week’s torrential downpour.

And now I remember what it was that I did after lunch.

Last weekend I used up the last of the pizza dough so I had to make some more. That was how I spent the early afternoon and it had been proofing while I was otherwise occupied.

When I came back from my walk two lumps went into the freezer and I rolled out the third one and put it on the tray for its second proofing.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Later on this evening I assembled my pizza and put it in the oven to cook. And it was delicious too.

But here’s something that I rarely do. In fact, I can’t think when I last did it.

Usually I know exactly what my appetite will be and I make my food accordingly. My pizza is always a standard, regular size.

But tonight, about a third of it went into the bin. I quite simply couldn’t finish it and that’s something that has rarely, if ever happened to me before. It’s not like me at all to be off my food and not even want to save it for breakfast.

What’s happening here?

Anyway that’s for another day as I’m off to bed right now. Radioing early in the morning so I need to be at my best. But not much chance of that.

Thursday 28th July 2022 – THIS WAS ANOTHER …

hang gliders place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… candidate for one of the worst days that I’ve had for quite a while.

Most of it has been spent asleep on my chair in the bedroom and that is extremely depressing.

So while you admire a few photos of the aerial activity that was taking place this afternoon while I was out and about on my travels I’ll tell you all about it, not that you want to hear it.

Anyway, last night I went to bed rather later than I intended, although not as late as it might have been.

55qj aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022But it was quite a lively night yet again and I was travelling about for quite a distance.

There was something happening last night. Someone had copy/pasted his signature into a document but the copy/paste had included a lot of inappropriate stuff. This had caused all kinds of problems for him with him copy/pasting instead of cropping what he had copy/pasted

And I was asking my self if I had I dictated about one daughter of my niece being upset about something? I dunno … “no you hadn’t” – ed. I was trying to talk to her and she went off to sit somewhere on a bench so I went over there to sit not too close to her to give her some room but not too far away. She said something but I can’t remember what it was, an ambiguous comment that could have meant “move up closer” or “move further away” and I couldn’t work out which was the meaning of this comment that she had said to me. I was at a loss to understand it.

yellow powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022A little later I was in a Welsh class. We’d come back after the holidays. We were a full class and I was sitting next to the boy next to whom I usually sit. We talked about what we’d done. The guy behind us talked about what he had done too so I rang up one or two other people who were in the class and was talking to them about their holidays. The teacher started to walk down the aisle handing out papers so I cut off the conversations. Some boy sitting in the aisle next to me started to play some Santana and put his music player on my desk. He asked “how do you fancy a bit of Santana?”. Much as I would have a bit of Santana any time, that wasn’t the time or place so I told him “not now” but he wouldn’t listen. He kept turning this Santana music. He was clearly irritating the prof, it was irritating me and irritating most of the other people around us too. We didn’t want that at that particular moment.

We’d been on the office outing somewhere. We’d been to a town somewhere in Europe. We’d arrived and we were all on board the bus. It was raining quite heavily so they decided that they would abandon the walking tour. Some woman was there with a young daughter and I was quite interested in the daughter. Everyone was asking what they were going to do etc so I said to this woman “when they drop us off we can go for a coffee” as an excuse to talk to the daughter. That seemed to be like a very good idea. She seemed to like that idea. We had to fetch our things and meet back on the bus in a couple of minutes. I wandered off back to my room to get my things together and walk back to where I thought that we’d pick up the bus but it wasn’t there. I was wondering what on earth had happened to it so I had a wander around. I overheard these 2 people talking, talking about the group. One of them had been on “Eric’s group and I’m sure that we’d had more goes than we were supposed to”. That rang a bell with me about something that we’d done. I walked round the corner and it was 2 people from our party. I asked them if they knew where we were meeting the bus. They thought that it was here but I thought that it was somewhere else. I thought that it might be a good idea to go down to this other place to have a look as it wasn’t far away but they didn’t seem to be interested in leaving so I thought that maybe I’d go on my own and leave them there because if they were there they would hold the bus for me if it were to come for me and I wasn’t there and give me chance to return to catch it.

A little later Percy Penguin made a brief appearance in a German class that I was teaching. I was trying to have my students say the diphthong “HK” correctly. She was there in this class having a practice and not getting it right.

Once more it was a struggle to leave the bed before the second alarm went off but I managed it nevertheless (only just) and then I came in here to transcribe my dictaphone notes.

Round about 10:00 I fell asleep and apart from a few moments of wakefulness here and there, that was that until about 15:30. Somehow I’d managed to fit in my breakfast and my lunchtime fruit but I’m not sure how.

Before going out for my afternoon walk I had a shower to clean myself up. I weighmed myself too and the weight that I’d been slowly losing over the last couple of weeks has gone back on. That has probably depressed me more than falling asleep.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Anyway, after the shower I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

And dodging the Nazguls that were flying by overhead I went over to the wall at the end of the headland to look down on the beach to see what was happening.

There ween’t all that many people down there this afternoon but of those who were there, there were quite a few of them in the water.

Further on down the coast a little way there were plenty of people in the water down there, but access to the beach down there at the Plat Gousset is so much easier.

fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As well as the aeroplanes and so on, there were one or two boats out at sea this afternoon.

There was one of the shell-fishing boats on its way back to port from out at the Ile de Chausey. It’s far too far away for me to identify it from here but her colours and the dinghy that she is towing reminds me very much of Les Bouchots de Chausey.

With the wind that was blowing there was quite a bit of dust about this afternoon. This drought is starting to become serious. It’ s making the place look like 1930s Oklahoma right now and it’s not going to improve until we have some rain.

Although when that might be I have no idea.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Down at the end of the headland I crossed the car park and went down to see what was happening on the rocks.

We had a couple of fishermen out there with rod and line this afternoon. They seemed to be enjoyng themselves except, of course, that they weren’t actually catching anything.

Not that I expected that they would.

No-one sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban either. They seem to be having a day off today. So I wandered off around the corner and down the path on the other side of the headland.

fishing boat la confiance 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Down at the port we have a change in occupancy in the chantier naval.

La Confiance II is still in there, and there was someone doing some arc-welding on it as I went past this afternoon. And she’s now been joined by one of the little shell-fishing boats.

Unfortunately I can’t see her registration number so I’m not able to tell you who she might be.

No-one over at the ferry terminal either. They must all be out at work today as well. There was even La Cancalaise, the sister ship to La Granvillaise, out at the Ile de Chausey with a party from Cancale.

ch922344 le roc a la mauve 3 ch640361 nais fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022We didn’t have any ships at the Fish Processing Plant playing “Musical Ships” but we did have some fishing boats over there unloading.

Two of them are regulars of ours and we have seen them many times. At the front of the queue is CH922344 who is of course Le Roc A La Mauve III who we saw in the chantier naval for quite a while earlier in the year, and behind her is CH640361 who is Nais.

The third one is a mystery though. Her registration number begins with “M” and that’s the registration code for Milford Haven in Wales, so I’m not likely to find her in my database of French fishing vessels. Nevertheless it’s quite a puzzle as to what she’s doing coming all the way here.

chausiaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Just now I mentioned that there was no-one at the ferry terminal.

As I walked back to the apartment, around the corner behind me came Chausiaise. She’s rather early and I don’t think that there’s enough water for her to moor at the ferry terminal quite yet.

Back here I had a coffee and then spent a while having a play on the acoustic guitar. I’m enjoying myself much more on the acoustic than I have done for a while and I can actually play an F chord that sounds like an F chord.

In fact, I’m tending much more to play songs in the original key regardless of the chords rather than playing them in keys in which the chords are easier to play. Gone are the days were I’m stuck in A C D E and G and their derivatives.

Tea was steamed veg with veggie balls with vegan cheese sauce and it really was delicious.

So bedtime now. if I’m lucky I’ll be in bed early and have a good night’s sleep. Here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow. I can’t go on like this.

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”

Monday 10th January 2022 – NOT VERY MANY …

… photographs today. And you’ll find out why as you read on. It’s not been a very good day today. Not at all.

It started off quite well though. When the alarm went off at 06:00 this morning I was actually out of bed quite rapidly for a change. And after the medication and checking the mails and messages, I attacked the radio programme that I intended to do.

And despite a couple of breaks for coffee and for breakfast, It was all finished and up and running by 10:37. And it would have been finished even quicker had the final track that I had chosen been properly formatted.

In the end I had to re-record it and re-format it and that took a while. And had I thought on, I would have re-recorded the whole album because if one track is badly formatted, it follows that all of the others are too.

When I’d finished the programme and listened to it (and to the one that will be sent off later for broadcast this weekend) I went and had a shower and washed a load of clothes ready for my voyage to Leuven on Wednesday.

After lunch the nurse came round and gave me my injection of Aranesp following which I sorted out my papers ready for my walk up to the physiotherapist.

jade 3 loading with crane port de Granville harbour Manche harbour Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On the way down the hill into town I noticed that there was something happening down at the inner harbour.

If I am correct, the trawler down there is Jade III and there is somethign going on for which she needs the services of one of the dockside cranes.

It can’t be the nets because they are usually loaded from the rear, with the boats stern-on to the quayside, as we have seen on many occasions down there in the past. But this crane is being used on the side of the boat.

This afternoon I was rather late setting out for my appointment so I couldn’t loiter around. I had to push on quite rapidly. But I made it there in time.

And this is where my problems began. In the middle of an exercise my knee gave out again, just as it did that time in Paris, and I fell to the floor quite heavily. I didn’t have the strength to pull myself up, but luckily I was by the wall-bars so I could grab hold of something to help me to my feet.

But at least my physiotherapist had a really good view of what happened. She’s no longer in any doubt about the issues that I’m having. But it’s not boding well for my trip to Leuven on Wednesday.

Luckily, one of my neighbours was there at the same time as me, and he too was a witness to my little incident. He was here in his car so he offered to drive me home which was very kind of him.

Back here I grabbed the NIKON D500 and headed outside for a wander around – and fell down the stairs as my knee gave way again. And so I didn’t go very far.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Nevertheless I struggled on across the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

It was rather later than usual, with having had to hang around somewhat for a lift, and so the tide was coming in quite rapidly. And there was no-one down there on the beach at all. The place was deserted.

The weather wasn’t actually all that bad. Although there was some rain in the air being blown around by the wind, it was quite warm for the time of year. In fact, this weather is unseasonably-warm. I don’t think that I’ve ever known a winter quite as mild as this one so far.

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022There had been some kind of activity at the chantier naval that I’d noticed earlier so I went for a closer look with the 70-300mm LENS

Gerlean is still there of course, but over on the right the skyjack has put in an appearance from out of the shed where it usually lives. It doesn’t look as if there’s any reason for it to have been brought outside – they usually only need it when they are working on one of the large trawlers.

But even more interestingly, they have a couple of vans with people in attendance over at the portable boat lift. It’s not been back in commission for a month yet but it’s already been under repair once and it looks as if it’s under repair yet again.

ch640361 nais ch638749 pescadore port de Granville harbour  Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Meanwhile, back in the inner harbour, most of the fishing boats that we had seen in there the other day now seem to have gone out to sea.

There’s Pescadore, the blue and black trawler that we saw in the chantier naval the other day, down there, and also one of the inshore shell-fishing boats too.

Luckily I could read her registration number from up here and now that I know where to access the index of French-registered fishing boats, I can tell you that she’s called Nais.

What with the leg giving me issues right now, I didn’t go any farther. I turned round and headed for home, with something of an undignified scramble up the stairs to my apartment.

Back here I made a coffee and came back in here to sit down, where I crashed out definitively. And to such an extent that I was seriously thinking of going back to bed at one point I felt so dreadful. And it’s been such a long time since I’ve felt even remotely like that. When I awoke, my coffee was stone-cold.

And once I recovered I had a listen to the dictaphone. I was staying last night in some weird hotel run by some Indians somewhere. He had only prepared part of my bill but I had to leave although I’d be back later. He hadn’t finished working out how much my evening meal was. I went out but when I returned he told me that Nina had been to see me. She’d turned up not long after I’d gone. There obviously wasn’t much that I could do about that. I waited for him to finish this bil for the meal. It was totally astronomical. He’d done things like because I was the only person there eating at that time he’d charged me the hourly rate of the 3 servers and the cook, that kind of thing. I had to pay their wages for an hour or so. Instead of paying something like £7 or £8 it was £70 or £80. I thought that it was absolutely astonishing. But whatever it was, he was busy explaining why he’d added this in, why he’d added that in and he never reached to point of telling me how much it was. No matter how much I asked him about this bill he still wouldn’t tell me how much it was. It was dragging on and on and on. I wanted him to get to the total but he was too busy with all of these explanations to tell me anything about how much I was going to have to pay at the end.

Tea tonight was taco rolls and rice with veg using the stuffing left over from Saturday. Tomorrow night’s tea will of course be a curry made of everything loitering in the fridge that needs to be eaten before I go off to Leuven.

That is, of course, if I go. With Covid being out of control it depends if there will be a train. And even if there is a train, it depends if I’m in any kind of state to travel there.

This is not going to be a good week for me to travel.