Tag Archives: cormorant

Monday 19th September 2022 – WE ALMOST HAD …

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… a new record for the completion of our radio programme this morning. So while you admire several photos of the marine activity out on the water today I’ll tell you all about it.

Actually, I’m not quite sure what happened today but at about 10:10 this morning I was about to start dictating the final speech for the last track, and once that it would be edited, it would be done.

For some reason though, probably an error of mathematics, I ended up with 10 seconds too much of speech. That was quite disappointing because I’d taken great care to make sure that the length of speech was correct. One like of text in my text editor is about 290 characters and that equates to about 17 seconds when it’s edited down so I have a reasonable idea of how long a piece of text takes to dictate.

So finding 10 seconds of speech to “lose” from what I’ve already dictated and merged into the programme so far isn’t as easy as it might be. Sometimes there’s a nice piece of speech that is ripe for editing out but there might be the introduction of the track of music to which it relates that overruns it.

yacht baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Anyway, while it finally saw the light of day at about 10:50, which is still quicker than quite a few that I’ve done just recently.

But almost as soon as I started to listen to it to make sure that it was OK, Rosemary rang me up. I’m convinced that she hid a camera in here when she came to visit a few years ago. Anyway, we had one of our lengthy chats again.

But the good news is that Miss Ukrainian has started school today at the High School in the nearest town to where Rosemary lives. I’m sure that that’s a good idea.

Even if she can’t speak French and follow the lessons, she’ll be mixing with kids of her own age. Where she’s living right now there’s no-one around at all of her age and a young teenager needs to socialise

speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But meanwhile, back at the ran … errr … apartment, last night was something of a mess.

It was later than intended that I went to bed, and then I didn’t have much sleep because I must have travelled miles during the night. To start off there was a lady-friend of mine. I don’t know who she was but she started to date someone who was a cross between Boris Johnson and Bill Bailey and only had one leg. he was a famous politician and would sneak away from meetings etc to be with her. On one occasion the two of us had booked somewhere to stay but there was only one double-bed so we thought that we’d just have to make the best of it. Biy he turned up as well so it ended up with three of us in the bed. I went out to go to the bathroom ready to go to bed. He and this woman were in there so I said to them on parting “don’t forget later on in the night that your partner is the one on your right. When I prepared to go to bed his security team was there. They were looking for him so I didn’t say anything. I went back to another room after I’d had a wash in order to leave them to it for a while.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Back in the same dream later I was up and about. Those two were still in bed. Meantime the house was filling up with people. Eventually the woman got up and came in to join us. I asked her if she knew what “discussing Uganda” meant. She replied that she didn’t. I said that if I come out with the phrase, do me a favour of bursting out laughing and I’ll explain it to you later”. She wondered what I meant by that. Eventually he came out of the room. I explained that Zero (who must have put in an appearance somewhere but shame as it is to say it, I can’t remember her being there)’s mother had been to collect her, implying that we had a young child in the house at the time last night etc. After about 10 minutes of embarrassed chatting from their side I said that I’m going off to wash my hair so I’ll leave them alone and they can “discuss Uganda” or something like that. The other people in the house knew exactly what that meant and burst out laughing. I went into the bathroom, used the bathroom and went to wash my hands and found that someone had coupled the shower up to the tap and hadn’t undone it afterwards. As soon as I turned on the tap the water went everywhere and soaked the bathroom. I managed to stop it, opened the bathroom door and hurled a huge volley of abuse about the person who’d had a shower and left the shower attachment attached to the sink and not removed it at the end. Of course you can guess who that probably was but it was an impressive volley of abuse all the same. I started to look for something to clean up the mess.

Back in this dream for a third time. I said that Zero had gone home and the kids who had been on the trampoline were leaving. I gathered that those 2 had gone back to bed again so I made some remarks about “ships that pass in the night” etc while they were there and various other things to give the game away that I knew exactly what had happened although I said them in a manner that implied that I knew nothing.

Moving on from there, there was a big party in the office. The office was absolutely filthy. There was stuff all over the place. There was only one girl and I think that it might have been my elder sister who was attempting to tidy it up. I wasn’t going home as I had something arranged in the town so I stayed behind and helped her as best as I could. I did several huge bowls of washing up. Then it came to be 19:10 so I went to put back everything that I’d done so far. She asked how the room was so I told her that it was still a mess. I told her what I’d done. She said “OK, you’d better wander off now and do what you have to do. I’m going to be late in the morning” she said. “I’m not going to be in at my usual early morning time”. I said “never mind. I’ll try my best to be there myself something early and see what happens”. I was really disappointed that all our colleagues, none of them would stay behind and help and none of them were interested in coming along to open up the office tomorrow either.

When the alarm went off I was in the middle of a meeting with the owners of this building but they were only just setting up the bottles of water for people to drink and I never found out what went on. It was all about some abandoned farmhouse and buildings on the side of a main road that they were talking about demolishing even though it was nice, old Victorian stuff. It would have made a really nice conversion to flats and houses etc rather than being just swept away.

Anyway so when the alarm went off I did manage to leap to my feet quite quickly even though it was early, and after the medication I cracked on with the radio programme, as I mentioned earlier.

There were a couple of interruptions. Firstly for an early morning coffee and secondly to answer the door. The nurse had finally printed out my vaccination certificate from last June. Just one or two things that I need to do now.

Having listened to the radio programme and also the one that I’ll be sending off for this weekend, I went for my lunchtime fruit And then I had the notes on the dictaphone to deal with.

So I stepped back into a dream not just once but twice last night. And a mention of Zero too. What a shame I can’t remember her being about although I know that she must have been there.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022After all of that it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

And once again, it seems that the Nazguls were waiting for me to step outside the door again. I hadn’t gone more than three feet outside the building when one of them came swooping over the roof of the High School and heading in my direction.

A solo outfit too, but not to worry. There were several others waiting around in the distance, some of which were two-seater Nazguls. So at least there’s still an opportunity to go for a flight around.

And I haven’t forgotten …

paddle board people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So dodging the diving Nazguls I wandered over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

But first, my attention was focused on the events just offshore. yesterday we had a zodiac watching events unfold on the beach. Today, we have a paddle-boarded paddling past.

There were a few people down there as well for him to watch. Probably a dozen or so scattered about all over there.

No-one in the water as far as I could see, but then again the paddle-boarder hasn’t fallen in yet. There’s still plenty of time for that.

cormorants baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Lots of other stuff down there for me to watch as well.

As I made my way along the path amongst the people who were wandering around, I noticed that out there on a rock just offshore was a whole colony of birds.

Cormorants, I reckon, but what do I know? All that I do know is that they aren’t any kind of bird which I would be interested in watching. I should have paid much more attention, because when we were married I had several long lectures from Nerina about bird-watching.

What I could do I suppose is to go on and on about how I don’t particularly like those birds, but it would just be another cormo-rant.

F-GCUM - Robin DR400-180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022and so on that note I suppose that I’d better carry on with my walk and see what’s hapening with the aeroplane that has just taken off from the airfield.

It’s one of the aeroplanes that we see quite regularly as we are walking along the cliffs around here. She’s F-GCUM, a Robin DR400-180 that belongs to the local aero club.

My photo is timed at 16:01 (adjusted) which corresponds with a flight that she undertook when she took off at 15:15 and flew northwards. That’s not a usual flightpath for an aeroplane out of the airfield. usually they go out to sea and then down the coast to the south.

F-GCUM - Robin DR400-180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022However there was something bizarre about the flight that she was undertaking just now.

As I watched her, she did a U-turn and headed back towards the airfield, almost as if when she had taken off but the pilot had forgotten his sandwiches.

Her actual flight plan though was she went north, as I said just now, and then flew back south, back over the airfield and out to sea but after just a couple of miles she performed a rather dramatic U-turn and flew back towards the airfield.

Once back over the airfield she carried on inland, performed yet another U-turn and back to the airfield where she landed at 16:09.

My route along the top of the cliff and across the car park was pretty much without incident today. Just a few craft out at sea that you have already seen, and no change either in the inner harbour or in the chantier naval.

mercedes tourismo iveco mercedes tourismo coaches boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Now that the heaving masses have headed back home at the end of the holiday season, we have the next generation of visitors.

The town and the cliffs are crawling with the pensioners out of the caravanettes or day-tripping on the fleets of coaches that are now arriving.

The poor little Iveco that waits to take the Homework Club schoolchildren back home at 17:00 is sandwiched between two rather large Mercedes Tourismo coaches, and thanks to Duncan Payne on the “Bus and Coach” group for identifying the bodywork.

It’s a good job that he did too. The driver of the brown one with whom I had a lengthy chat didn’t know and the driver of the green one drove off when he saw me approaching.

Unfortunately I’m out of the loop these days. I was left behind on Van Hool Alizees and Plaxton Premieres. I can’t believe that it’s almost 28 years since I last drove a coach after all the miles that I did in the past.

Back here I had a coffee and then I had a few things to do which took me up to teatime.

My stuffed pepper tonight was a really good one. I have really grasped the principle of those now. Plenty of stuffing left over for a taco roll tomorrow and maybe even some more to add into Wednesday’s curry.

But right now that’s that. Tomorrow I have a Welsh lesson and I hope that there will be more than four of us. But to be on the safe side I shall have to have a good night’s sleep and do some more revision tomorrow.

That is, if I can remember.

Sunday 2Sunday 22nd May 2022 – WE HAD MORE OF A …

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… nautical day today than we have had for the last while.

So while you admire a few photos of all various kinds of water craft that was out there this afternoon, I’ll tell you about my day today.

And to my surprise – and probably yours too – it was rather better than it might otherwise have been today.

Last night, I was in bed by 00:00, without the particular medication that is causing me all of these issues. And as a result, I was tossing and turning in bed for quite some considerable time trying to go off to sleep.

cabin cruisers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Eventually, I must have managed to drop off to sleep because there was something on the dictaphone. At least I’d managed to go off on my travels for a while at some point during the night.

But even more surprisingly, considering that Sunday is a day when I spend as long as possible lying in bed without moving, by 09:35 I was actually up and about. And, believe it or not, actually feeling as if I was up and about as well. And without an alarm either.

It’s early days yet but even so it’s a long time since I’ve felt like this on a Sunday, isn’t it? Usually I’m lucky to see anything at all this side of midday, medication or not notwithstanding.

yacht speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022When I’d finished the medication I had a listen to what was on the dictaphone to see where I was during the night.

This is the story about the Clitheroe Kid who was working with a group of children in a coal mine underground. They were talking about the wages and everything which were peanuts of course. At the end of the shift the children began to come up. Some of them looked as if they were only 5 or 6. A couple of the children didn’t come out. They had to send a rescue party with people like Higginbottom etc. They rescued the ones who were stuck, saying how lucky they were, at least they had a decent hospital near where they were where the children who were injured could receive treatment. They had like an overhead gantry where they could put the children on and it would take them to the hospital. Jimmy Clitheroe was one of the last to leave but one of his friends didn’t appear with him so he shouted that this kid was stuck so they had to go back and free this kid. They came out, and as they were coming out of the mine a kid and her parents, and this kid couldn’t have been more than 5, came back out of the hospital. She saw Clitheroe and his friend and went over to them to share a cigarette with them. Her parents were relieved that their daughter had been saved and that Clitheroe and his friend had managed to make their escape from the coal mine.

This was another one of these dreams that was just so real.

speedboat yacht le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Much of the rest of the day has been spent playing guitar.

There’s a little project simmering away on the back burner right now that might actually come off in the near future if I’m not careful, so I need to be prepared.

Mind you, it’s not something that I can do alone and, regrettably, there is some “history” about this particular event in the past. I hate being dependent upon other people, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

Someone has “promised faithfully” to send me something “straight away” for over two weeks and a couple of reminders now and I’m still no further forward.

The last time this happened, I made my own notes which I wrote down in my notebook which is in the pocket of my jacket hanging up on a hook in a hotel in Calgary and at this rate it’ll be quicker to fly over to Canada and rescue them.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Later on I went out as usual for my afternoon walk.

First of all I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end to have a look down onto the beach to see who was down there this afternoon.

The good weather that we had earlier in the week looks as of it’s gone for the moment. It was cloudy and rather windy out there this afternoon. Mind you, there were a couple of people down there and they were brave enough to go into the water up to their knees.

So hats off to them. It’s not really the kind of weather that would make me take to the water. But then again water at minus 1°C in a snowstorm 700 miles from the North Pole didn’t deter me, did it?

cormorant baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Out there on the rocks just offshore we had rather an impressive-looking bird flexing its wings down there.

It could well be a cormorant but I don’t really know. I know that when I was married to Nerina I had plenty of lectures about birdwatching and I suppose that I really ought to have paid more attention, but not one of them was about this particular type of bird.

It was around here that some local came up to me to ask me about my photos. He lives locally apparently and he has seen me out and about quite often. We ended up having a little chat for a few minutes about photography and the like.

He was interested to know whether I had ever sold any photos so I delighted in telling him about the photo that appeared in that book a couple of weeks ago, to name but one.

sparrowhawk baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Meanwhile, while we are on the subject of birds … “well, one of us is” – ed … there was another one of the feathered variety a little further along the path.

This is one whom we have seen on several occasions in the past – or one very much like it. It’s a sparrowhawk that preys on the colony of rabbits and other wildlife that live in the long grass on the edge of the cliffs around here.

And all I can say about his efforts this afternoon is that he was having just as much luck as the fishermen were having yesterday..

At the end of the car park I fought my way through the crowds and across the car park down to the end of the headland. No caterpillars to impede my progress this afternoon either.

35ma pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There wasn’t anyone sitting on the bench down at the end of the headland this afternoon, but we had a little bit of aerial activity while I was admiring the view.

It’s one of the little light aeroplanes – 35MA – that fly out of the airfield down the coast. Unfortuately I can’t tell you anything about her because her registration number isn’t listed in the database to which I have access.

She doesn’t file a flight plan either so I can’t tell you where she’s going but it’s a reasonable bet to assume that she’s going down the bay to do a lap around Mont St Michel and then come back in to land.

My journey took me down the path along the other side of the headland so that I could see what was going on down at the port this afternoon.

j158 l'ecume 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And they have made an enormous amount of progress with L’Ecume II.

She’s almost finished now so it won’t be long at all until she’s back in the water with her nice fresh coat of paint.

The dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie is still over there too, out of shot on the right by the portable boat lift. The lorry should be coming to take her away any day now ready for her next posting.

It’s interesting to speculate who is going to be next in the chantier naval. It’s only a few months ago that they actually had as many as nine boats in there under repair at the same time.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Meanwhile over at the ferry terminal we have Belle France tied up.

The other two Joly France boats that were there with her yesterday have cleared off this afternoon. Now that the tide is coming in presumably they have slipped their mooring and gone out to the island to bring back the last of the weekend’s holidaymakers ready to catch the last train back to Paris.

But as I said yesterday, I’m much more interested in the two Channel Island ferries, Victor Hugo and Granville. I’ll have to try to track down a copy of their schedules to see when they are likely to be sailing out to Jersey.

l'omerta ch643489 petite laura port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Meanwhile, over at the quayside by the Fish Processing Plant, L’Omerta has some company this afternoon.

Moored up behind her is Petite Laura, another one of the shell-fishing boats. Neither of them is doing very much this afternoon except getting in the way of the other boats that might want to come in and unload.

Back here I had a coffee and carried on with the guitar and, a little later, rather regrettably, I fell asleep again for an hour or so. I’m not yet able to shake off all of the vestiges of this medication that I’ve been taking.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022After lunch this afternoon I’d taken out a lump of pizza dough from the freezer and it had been defrosting during the afternoon.

Later on this evening I kneaded it and rolled it out, putting it on the pizza tray to proof for an hour or so. And then I assembled this evening’s pizza.

When it was cooked it was quite delicious but I’m finding it difficult to accustom myself to the plain, bleached flour. Admittedly it goes up like a lift and cooks quite nicely but the taste is rather different.

But anyway now that i’ve dealt with all of that I’m off to bed. I have a 06:00 start in the morning and a radio programme to prepare, and it will be interesting to see how I cope without this medication and an early start.

Monday 9th November 2020 – I DIDN’T …

… manage to beat the third alarm this morning. But nevertheless I managed to tear myself out of my stinking pit fairly quickly so it wasn’t too much of a problem.

helicopter air sea rescue notre dame de cap lihou baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you look at some photos of the rather dramatic air-sea rescue that took place this afternoon out in the Baie de Mont St Michel I’ll tell you something about my day today.

First thing after the medication was to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. And, more importantly, who had come with me.

And there was actually something there, so I must have been away at some point. And what I heard about my voyage took me quite by surprise because it’s quite a rare event, what happened during the hours of darkness.

helicopter air sea rescue notre dame de cap lihou baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall Last night I dreamt that I had gone to the local Council offices to talk about getting a French nationality. The woman had sent me into a room which was where I would have to wait but my appointment would be something like 09:30. After a while I noticed that they had been calling through people who had come into the room after me and I was starting to become a little concerned about this. I went back to the reception and told them. The woman there said that there were a lot of people to see of course but she could absolutely guarantee that I would be seen before 11:30 that morning. I thought to myself “OK, I’ll have to wait” so I went back. But then I awoke in this dream and found that I was actually inside an old van with a load of other people. I had a look at my watch and it was 10:45. I thought that I have to go and make this appointment. How long have I been away and what have I been doing in the meantime? So I shook myself out, climbed out the van which was something like a CA Bedford or J4 with sliding doors. Someone else wanted to come out behind me so I had to help them out, then the curtain in the doorway was getting in the way. Then I thought “should I take a book with me or something? But them I thought that I don’t really have time. I have to get all the way back to the Council offices and hope that I haven’t been called in the meantime and that I’ll be there before 11:30.

It was really weird, this waking up in a dream and finding myself still in a dream.

helicopter air sea rescue notre dame de cap lihou baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOnce I’d organised myself with the dictaphone I had a radio prgramme to prepare.

It’s the 69th issue of my programmes and now I’m deep into the obscure tracks, which was always the plan. Groups like Amazing Blondel, Brian Auger’s Trinity, Eyes of Blue and the Swedish musician Bo Hansson will be making their debuts when this programme is broadcast and there are plenty more of the same to follow.

And so round about 07:30 or so I sat down to make a good start.

helicopter air sea rescue notre dame de cap lihou baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall It took me less than 90 minutes to choose the first 10 tracks, remix them, combine them in pairs and add on the introduction.

Then I had to research the groups because with so many new groups, I didn’t have much in the way of prepared notes, and then I had to write out the texts and then dictated them.

Once I’d dictated them I had to edit them, split them into segments and then link all of the pairs of songs together with the segments of text in between.

That left 4:20 so knocking 45 seconds off for a closing speech, that meant a final track of 3:35. Having chosen one of the right length and remixed it, I then had to dictate a closing speech which I unfortunately overran and ended up having to trim down the programme by 19 seconds.

Nevertheless, buy 14:20 it was all done and dusted, despite having a break for hot chocolate at 10:30 (and my fruit bread buns were perfect) and for lunch (and my hone-made bread was pretty good too).

First task when I finished was to ring up to enquire about Caliburn. And, as I expected, the time limit that I was given was … errr … somewhat optimistic. They’ll ring me up when he’s ready, but I can see that it’s not going to be any time soon.

Second task was to sort out the rest of the radio programme that I’d started. I even started to type out the notes but I’m afraid that my early start proved somewhat too much for me and I ended up asleep on the chair for a while.

cormorants on rock Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallConsequently my walk outside this afternoon was rather later than planned, but I went out just the same.

For a change I forgot myself and ended up going off around the headland instead of around the walls. The tide was well in and out there sitting on a rock was a colony of what looks like cormorants.

They were just sitting there not doing very much, except one of them that was flapping its wings as if it was going out of fashion. The birds posed quite nicely for a good few minutes and then I pushed off to find out what the racket was all about out to sea in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

helicopter air sea rescue notre dame de cap lihou baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd out there, hidden in the spray kicked up by the rotor blades of a helicopter, was our local lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou.

As I watched, the helicopter made two or three practice runs towards her and then on the next one, she hovered quite close and as I watched, she lowered a person down on a winch.

By the looks of things it may well have been nothing more than a practice exercise but it was still exciting just the same.

With nothing else going on out there this afternoon, I wandered off back home again to do a bit more work.

Later on, I had a really enjoyable hour on the guitars. One of the things that I did with the bass guitar was to work out the bass line to David Bowie’s “Heroes” and I found, to my immense satisfaction, that I could sing it at the same time.

Back 40 years ago I could sing and play the bass but it wasn’t all that easy. Despite the fact that I still haven’t manage to recapture whatever skill I might have had, I’m finding singing to be so much easier and I don’t understand that at all.

With the acoustic guitar, I selected half a dozen songs and then had a little concert. As I’ve said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I need to spend more time concentrating on maybe just a dozen songs and knowing them very well rather than dissipating my efforts over a hundred or so.

But one track that I’ve found that I can play and sing quite easily is Counting Crows’ “Recovering the Satellites”, although that song and “Heroes” that I mentioned just now remind me rather too much of a certain night back at the beginning of September last year and one day I might even write about it.

There wa san old burger in the fridge that needed eating so I had that for tea. And being fed up of pasta, I had a baked potato with tinned veg seeing as I have run out of carrots. And the veg was peas, peppers and sweetcorn from a tin that I had bought ages ago at NOZ. As I’ve said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … rummaging around in the food mountain at NOZ does provide me with a varied diet.

Both Rosemary and TOTGA wanted a chat on the internet so I was rather late going out for my evening walk and run.

And to my surprise, not only did I manage 6 runs, I ran them without any effort too and I reckon that I could have pushed on even further had I wanted.

escalier du moulin a vent Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn between a couple of the legs I stopped for a breather at the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen plenty of photos of the Place Marechal Foch during the night, but it occurs to me that you may not have seen the view looking behind me

There’s the nice little flat level ground which is disfigured by a small bunker or two of the Atlantic Wall, and then the stairs – the Escalier du Moulin a Vent that leads up to the Place de l’Isthme. And while there is indeed a “Windmill Staircase”, there’s no windmill. although there used to be and I have seen an old postcard that shows a view of it.

trees lit up square maurice marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo-one about so I had a good run across the Square Maurice Marland.

It was all looking quite nice, the trees all illuminated by the lights and with no leaves to hide the effect.

And from there I continued around the walls and then ran on home to write up my notes.

Tomorrow I have my Welsh lesson so I need to do some revision in the morning, and then in the afternoon I hope that I’ll be able to finish off the radio programme that I started in Leuven.

Then there are plenty of other things to be doing and who knows? One of these days I might be able to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Just don’t hold your breath.

Sunday 10th November 2019 – EXCUSE ME …

full moon granville manche normandy france … a minute while I shave the palms of my hands.

We’re getting close to that time of year again and probably within a day or two we’ll be having a full moon. It won’t affect me of course, because although I used to be a werewolf, I’m all right nooooooooooooooooow!

Nothing wrong with a bit of lycanthropy when yuo can get it, is there?

You’re probably looking at the huge pile of photos from today and thinking that I’ve really been out on the prowl today.

And that’s quite true. I’ve done over 100% of my day’s target according to my fitbit and I haven’t failed to notice that the daily target for the new keep-fit me has increased from 7.7 kms to 9.0 kms as a result of my increased athletic activity.

Mind you, I nearly didn’t go out on the prowl today. No-one was more disappointed than me to wake up, despite having a rather latish night last night, at 06:09. And on a Sunday too.

But badger that for a game of soldiers. If anyone thinks that i’m goign to be doing anything at that particular time of the morning on a Sunday, they are totally mistaken.

What I did was to turn over and go back to sleep, where I stayed until a much-more realistic and appropriate … errr … 11:25.

Yes, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a day like that!

Plenty of time to go on a nocturnal ramble, you might be thinking. And you’re dead right.

Last night I was helping out in a cafe somewhere taking the cash from people and paying it into the till and there was some confusion about what went where because I couldn’t see where the 5 cents went. I just left them on the side while I carried on working .later, the manager came in and had a look round. “Ohh the 5 cents go in here” he said, pointing to a space in the till. But that had all kinds of rambling writing in it from someone. We had a look at it and quite a laugh because the narrative was changing from “us” to “we” to “I” as if he wasn’t really sure about who he was writing about (… there’s a Sherlock Holmes story about this …) in his long rambling speech. We had a good laugh about it and I said that I hadn’t wanted to disturb it otherwise I would have missed the start of this conversation, something like that. he said “yes” – it’s very important to get the start or you just have to wait a year and get it when it comes round again next year”. We began to talk about music lessons and I’m not quite sure how that fitted into the arrangement anywhere and I was saying that I wanted to learn the guitar and the piano and a third instrument and I lost my way into a rambling incoherent thing after that and woke up – that was at 06:09.

As I said, i went back to sleep and ended up in Leek last night – but don’t ask me why – and it wasn’t Leek at all but some strange town. I was walking through it, although there wasn’t all that much to walk through and I wanted to find a way to walk through the town. I found a street that was called James Lyette Way or James Wysse Way or something like that and that name rang a bell with me in this town – I could not think why. So I thought that I would go this way. So I got round that way and I was kicking something in front of me which wa making a rattly noise and I’d only gone about 30 yards in front of me when I came to a dead stop because there was a huge set of double doors in front of me with glass and this was the shopping centre. I thought “yes I remember this” so I walked in. There was a group of young people in there all over the place milling around, standing, talking, leaning against the wall, sitting and I noticed that they were all wearing a kind of plaid overshirt, the type that I used to like to wear but they were wearing them two by two – like if you were in a couple you had to have the same overshirt as your partner. They were lounging around and drinking coffee and so on and I said to whoever I was with “God this is where everyone – a heavy place to hang out”. There were no shops but just like little rooms with glass fronts for little groups to sit with coffee. There were stairs so we went upstairs and there was like an art class going on and people were around there doing art things, all young people all wearing these plaid shirts in couples. I was hoping to find a door through here so I could get out and find my way onto the main road, or find some shops or something interesting but this shopping precinct in James Lyette Way was really strange because there are no shops, just these rooms with these groups of young people in them sitting around.
But somewhere in the middle of all of this I had an old Ford “T” and I was having to drive somewhere. This Model “T” was old and creaking and the steering wheel was weak and about to break in two but I was driving it all the same (… and people were noticing me and watching …) on this road that was taking me towards Leek. It was all up and down hill and round bends and over canal bridges and I seem to remember that this vehicle was going really well and I was doing about 40mph and I thought to myself that at times I’ve gone down here at 60mph and it’s seemed to be really slow so I thought that it must be something to do with the particular make of car or type of car and that was when I got into Leek. And it was strange because I had to walk though the streets and they had traffic lights to control the flow of pedestrians on the pavement because the pavements were so narrow and they didn’t want you to be walking into the street.
(… something that I maybe ought to add because I can still remember it even if I didn’t dictate it – that on my way back downstairs I noticed sitting on a window ledge a young girl with glasses and curly hair all sticking up around her head. Although she was wearing a plaid overshirt she didn’t seem to strike me as being the kind of person who would have a partner (although I’m not sure why because I thought that she was quite attractive) but having a good look round I found a tall girl on her own wearing the same plaid overshirt …)

With a late start to today (almost an early start for tomorrow in fact) I had my medication and subsequently my breakfast rather later. And I did without lunch too.

instead, I cracked on and transcribed the night’s dictaphone notes, and then carried on updating the web page that I told you about the other day, and the relevant files that go to it.

And reviewing what I wrote at the time, I can say without fear of contradiction that I’m glad that I don’t write like that any more and that I’ve moved on from those days.

crowds of people pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceThat took me nicely up to the time for my afternoon walk, having missed my morning walk.

With it being a Sunday with a Bank Holiday to follow, and a nice afternoon to boot, the place was absolutely heaving. I’m sure that I can say with confidence that I have never ever seen so many people out there, even on a summer Sunday afternoon.

No idea what was going on at all

jersey channel islands granville manche normandy franceAnd it was certainly a nice day for being out there.

Although there was something of a wind, the air was perfectly clear and I could see for miles. Even parts of the Channel Islands that I have never ever seen before were perfectly visible with the big zoom lens this afternoon.

And I felt really sorry for the couple behind me asking each other if they could see with the naked eye whatever it was that I was photographing.

yacht bird english channel granville manche normandy franceIt wasn’t just on land that there were hordes of people either. It was pretty crowded out there on the water too.

This yacht was one of the many out there today having a really good time, and we were once more photo-bombed by some kind of flying thing.

Although I have spent many years doing plenty of bird-watching, and with binoculars and huge telephoto zoom lenses, it wasn’t this kind of bird that I was watching so I’ve no idea what it is. Craig thinks that it’s a cormorant but I wouldn’t know.

And that brings me round to one particular occasion when we were aboard The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour and they announced that we were going to have a lecture on birdwatching.

“Not a problem” I replied. “I had plenty of those from Nerina when I was married”

yacht motor boat pointe de carolles baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france“Hordes of people in the water” I said just now. And I was right too.

We’ve seen plenty of stuff in the English Channel, but the Baie de Mont St Michel was heaving with vessels too enjoying the wind.

And you can see how clear the weather was today too. Even the hotels down at the foot of the bay near Mont St Michel are clearly visible in this photo, and that’s without me making any special effort to include them in the image.

From the Pointe du Roc I carried on down the path and into town along the harbour.

old van rear suspension collapsed rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy franceOne of the reasons why I’d come here was to have a closer look at this strange van that has been parked at the fish processing plant for quite a while.

Either the rear suspension has collapsed or else there’s a really heavy weight in the back of it because the rear end is almost touching the roadway.

And it looks to me as if someone has jemmied the back doors of it at one time too. They are held together at the moment by a cord tied across the back.

port gates opening granville manche normandy franceAnother reason for my being down in the port area today was to go and have a look at the strange boat that has just appeared in the harbour.

The tidal gates were shut as I strolled leisurely past the fish processing plant, but just as I was about to put my foot on the top of the gates, the siren went off, the barrier went down and the gates started to open.

It seems that I had missed them by about 2 seconds. But I contented myself with watching them open, and then walked around the harbour to the other side.

chausiais granville manche normandy franceThat new boat was still there, tied up at the quay in between Vicor Hugo and Charles Marie.

And I can put a name to her too. She’s called the Chausiais and she’s out of Cherbourg.

But interestingly, she’s painted up with the advertising from the company that runs the ferry service out to the Iles de Chausey, so does this mean that they are now going to be running some kind of freight service out there?

la grande ancre granville manche normandy franceTalking of freight services to the Iles De Chausey, we’ve seen La Grande Ancre go out that way on a couple of occasions with what looked like a load of freight.

More recently though she’s been going back and to into the bay to carry out what looks like fishing activities.

But here she is, at rest today in the harbour with some kind of pontoon or lighter tied up to her.

What with one thing and another, there’s a lot of activity in the harbour these days even if we haven’t seen a gravel boat for quite some time and it doesn’t look as if there’s one due any time soon.

With it being such a nice day today I decided to carry on with another long walk.

Institution Sevigne granville manche normandy franceMy journey took me through the town and out along the old harbour railway in the general direction of the Parc du Val es Fleurs.

It’s a walk that I’ve taken on a few occasions but it wasn’t until today that I looked up onto the top and saw this building.

It’s called the “Institution Sevigne’ and it’s some kind of secondary school. The school’s advertising blurb (crudely translated by Yours Truly – after all, if you want any crudity then, in the words of the late, great Bob Doney “I’m your man”) says that it’s a “Catholic Educational Establishment of which the aim is to help young people become adults”, whatever that is supposed to imply.

animals parc du val es fleurs granville manche normandy franceIn the Parc du Val Es Fleurs there is some kind of zoo place where there are several animals of all kinds – terrestrial as well as aquatic ones.

With the crowds of people milling around the park, all of the animals were out there looking for some petting or, maybe, some food, although feeding the animals is strictly forbidden.

This horned sheep and these hens were eyeing me rather suspiciously, but I’m a vegan, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall

yacht baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceThere’s a path and a set of steps at the back of the park that lead up to the top of the corniche and the road to Donville-les-Bains.

We were starting to lose the light by now but there was still a good view out across the rooftops and I could see a yacht out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel making the most of the last of the weekend’s sunshine, with the Brittany coast in the background.

The seagulls perched in a line on the roof were enjoying it too.

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy franceThere’s a back way down the hill to the Place Marechal Foch.

That was the route that I took, and found myself amongst yet another madding crowd of people. Although the wind has died down considerably from how it was a few days ago, there’s still quite a powerful force embedded in the sea.

All of the people were thoroughly enjoying it, even when they received a drenching from the spray. And we’re still half an hour from high tide too.

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy franceBut here’s an object lesson for you all.

Never stand on the boat-launching ramp when the sea is powering its way into shore like this. One of the waves caught the edge of the ramp just in the right place at the right moment and we had this huge cloud of spray thrown up.

When the wind caught it and blew it inland, that guy there knew all about it.

For a change I climbed up tall the steps and headed home for tea. A vegan pizza, which was delicious and properly cooked too, seeing as I’ve moved the oven shelf down one row to the bottom.

Rice pudding too for afters.

night place marechal foch granville manche normandy franceEven though I’d had a really good walk this afternoon, I still went out for my evening promenade.

One or two people out there too enjoying the chilly night, and so was I because I could take my time. It’s a Bank Holiday tomorrow so I can have a lie-in.

The pleasant evening enticed me to linger a while, leaning over the wall and looking down to the Place Marechal Foch where I was earlier this evening.

parc du val es fleurs granville manche normandy franceAnd then back home, but not before I include this photo of the Parc Val es Fleurs.

The reason why it’s so interesting is that you can see just how far down it is and that gives you some idea of the steps and that path that I had to climb up to the top.

The slope is about one-in-three and I actually managed to run about 100 metres up it too, and I was well-impressed by that.

And not only that either. On my way back from my evening walk I managed my evening run and made it all the way up to the top of the little ramp too – the one that in the past has always defeated me.

Things must be looking up.

So now it’s bed-time. No alarm for me tomorrow as it’s a Bank Holiday. And if I have a sleep that’s only half as good as the one that I had last night I’ll be happy.

There will be more albums to record too. So far tonight I’ve done seven.

And the guitar too. This afternoon I’ve been working out the chords to Traffic’s “Dear Mr Fantasy”.

kids fighting granville manche normandy franceBut before I go completely, I’ll let you make up your own minds about what these kids were doing in a quiet corner of the Primary School playground down by the little stream.

kids fighting granville manche normandy france

kids fighting granville manche normandy france

jersey channel islands granville manche normandy france
jersey channel islands granville manche normandy france

fishing pointe du roc granville manche normandy france
fishing pointe du roc granville manche normandy france

yacht motor boat english channel granville manche normandy france
yacht motor boat english channel granville manche normandy france

jersey channel islands granville manche normandy france
jersey channel islands granville manche normandy france

yachts baie de mont st michel pointe de carolles granville manche normandy france
yachts baie de mont st michel pointe de carolles granville manche normandy france

privateer Le Pelley de Pléville dit la Mouette granville manche normandy france
privateer Le Pelley de Pléville dit la Mouette granville manche normandy france

chausiais granville manche normandy france
chausiais granville manche normandy france

animals parc du val es fleurs granville manche normandy france
animals parc du val es fleurs granville manche normandy france

animals parc du val es fleurs granville manche normandy france
animals parc du val es fleurs granville manche normandy france

animals parc du val es fleurs granville manche normandy france
animals parc du val es fleurs granville manche normandy france

granville manche normandy france
granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france