Tag Archives: dream in french

Sunday 3rd March 2024 – I’M NOT TELLING …

… you what time I awoke today. It’s rather … errr … embarrassing.

And I’ve no idea either why it should have been what it was. I was in bed at 02:15 – a pretty reasonable time for a Saturday night/Sunday morning and I’d had plenty of sleep during the day too so I can’t have been all that tired.

There wasn’t much tossing and turning about during the night either. In fact I can’t remember moving at all while I was asleep.

The only thing that I can think is that I’ve had another one of those fits that I’ve been having just recently. But even then, I’ve been aware of my surroundings. This morning I was completely and utterly out of everything.

But we have to learn from lessons like this. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks and as of right now this minute, I shall be setting an alarm call for a Sunday. 11:00 might not sound particularly alarming for an alarm call for me, but it’s certainly a novel situation in which I find myself these days.

When I hauled myself out of bed I checked the blood pressure – 15.8/8.4, which is no surprise considering that my ears were steaming. Last night’s figure of 16.2/11.2 was due entirely to the frustration in having to track down some new batteries.

Why they can’t fit rechargeable batteries into machines like this is beyond me. My fitbit is rechargeable and even my kitchen scales will recharge off an USB port. How my life has changed since I’ve had my RECHARGEABLE KITCHEN SCALES and don’t have to scrabble around any more for batteries.

Once I’d done that I cleared off into the kitchen for my medication, and then I suppose that I’d better have breakfast, seeing what time it was – porridge, cheese on toast and hot black coffee – whilst I carried on reading some more of Sir Norman Lockyer’s THE DAWN OF ASTRONOMY.

He’s the guy who came up with the idea that the ancient Egyptians were star-worshippers and that their temples and pyramids were located and orientated so as to catch the light of certain stars as they rose and set. And I suppose that Lockyer was over the moon when he worked that out.

But several thousand years further on from the Ancient Egyptians there’s still plenty of star worship that goes on these days. But they aren’t the kind of stars of which Lockyer was thinking.

Back in here I transcribed the dictaphone notes, such as they were. A propos l’acteur Davy Buell il a continué vers le Texas où il a travaillé pour un petit moment, entré dans une Ordre réligieuse et puis était acteur à la télévision et acté dans les filmes qui sont biens connus par la publique américaine.

Yes, that’s what I said – In French, which surprised me completely. “About the actor Davy Buell – he continued on towards Texas where he worked for a short while, entered a religious Order and then had been an actor on television and in films that were well-known to the American public”.

It’s not the first time that we’ve had dreams in French. There have been several in the past. We’ve also had dreams in Flemish, Welsh and in Spanish too.

Yes, Spanish. Apart from having several Spanish colleagues at work from whom I was able to pick up the kind of language that you’d never learn in class, while I was having my “year out” after work in 2004/05 I went on a Spanish class at the University down the road from where I was living in Jette

That was quite an enjoyable year and an enjoyable class. I met that nice Asian girl with whom I had something of a fling but I can’t believe it (well, I can, actually) – even as recently as those days I still encountered parents warning their girls about me, and the girls taking notice.

It seems that I am fated to go wandering through the universe encountering this kind of opposition until I myself turn into a star – but no Egyptian will ever erect a pyramid of temple to worship me.

But do you know why there are pyramids in Egypt?
It’s because they were too heavy to move to the British Museum.

That reminds me of the time that I was in Egypt visiting the Great Tomb of Seti, I was told by a tourist guide that it was 3,200 years 3 months and 16 days old
And so I asked him how come they could date the tomb so accurately.
He replied "when I started work here they told me that it was 3200 years old, and I’ve been working here 3 months and 16 days."

There was more on the dictaphone too. Did I dictate the dream that I had twice … "no you didn’t" – ed … about being in that house and there being some kind of machine that had to fit on me like a blood pressure sleeve that would hopefully make me feel better but was one that I found very difficult to actually fasten on with one hand. It took a great deal of doing yet in the end I managed to fasten it on. It seemed to support me enough for whatever it was that needed doing. I had this dream not once but twice, once after the other.

That’s obviously related to this meeting that I have on Tuesday when they are going to be talking to me about some “mechanical aids” or whatever to help me with my problems. I wonder what they are likely to be.

Having done that I made a start on the radio notes – editing some in order to prepare the next programme.

The stuff that I dictated last night is going into the bin by the way. Whatever I wrote last week was total rubbish and makes no sense at all. Not that much of my stuff ever does, but we have to pretend about it.

There is however some stuff in a kind-of backlog so I made a start on some of that.

Not for long though because I had some hummus and some fruit buns to make.

Fruit buns first, and no banana today so I had to use more water. But piles of dried fruit, crushed nuts, sunflower seeds, desiccated coconut and the like. It’s all good stuff, took an age to knead but it went together quite well and rose nicely too.

While it was rising I made my hummus. One batch with chilis and a second batch with olives – and the missing ingredient was almost blood as I had cut myself quite badly on the blade of the food processor.

There was pizza dough to roll out too for tonight’s tea. And being plain flour it did really well too.

So the pizza was delicious, the hummus looks (and tastes) excellent and the bread rolls look great. I had a really good afternoon in the kitchen.

Shame about the morning though, but I hope that an alarm call in the future will help in that situation.

Nevertheless, what a state to be in? I ought to be ashamed of myself. As I’ve said before … "and on many occasions too" – ed … I can’t go on like this. It’s ridiculous

If I go on like this people will be calling me Rip van Eric and that’s not the reputation I want. Geoff Goddin called the volunteers behind the resurrection of the Talyllyn Railway as having a "Boy’s Own comic spirit of adventure, involving enthusiasm, ingenuity and a fair degree of irresponsibility" and that’s much more like my style of doing things.

As Tennyson put it, "my purpose holds to sail beyond the sunset and the baths of all the Western stars until I die" – which won’t be long a-coming but I’ll do what I can until then

Hence the alarm on a Sunday as of now. And about time too.

Sunday 14th January 2024 – GUESS WHO…

… spent several hours in the Casualty department of the local hospital here in Granville last night?

What at first had appeared to be just a dull, throbbing pain though the part of my right leg that can actually feel anything, I could feel it going worse and worse as the evening continued and I began to freeze.

Once in bed, the pain increased and I began to shiver violently. I can recognise the symptoms of severe shock just as well as anyone else and with no improvement with the passage of time (quite the reverse, as it happened), in the end I gave up and phoned my cleaner who lives upstairs.

She was down here in an instant and one look was all that it took. She phoned up the emergency number and we all had a very lengthy chat with three different people before they decided to send an ambulance.

While we were waiting she, following my instructions, packed my emergency bag which she promised to bring during the day, and then she helped the ambulancemen, one of whom I knew, take me to their vehicle. And that wasn’t easy either, 25 steps and no lift.

Once I arrived, I told my story to four different people, one after the other after the other, while the pain was increasing and increasing, and then I was x-rayed with my leg and foot being twisted into some of the most painful positions imaginable, without even the suggestion of a painkiller.

Wheeled out of the x-ray cabinet on a stretcher far too small for me, I was told to “get some rest” which, as you can imagine, on a tiny stretcher with a painful leg overhanging into a void and with no painkiller or anything, was pretty much impossible.

Eventually, they came back, told me that the x-rays showed no breaks, gave me a couple of painkillers and said that the ambulance will be back shortly to pick me up and take me home.

And lifting me up 25 steps with no lift was no laughing matter either for the poor ambulancemen, but I was back in bed in a state of semi-comatose stupefaction (and drugged up to the eyebrows too) by 05:00.

Liz had a chat with me at about 08:45 on the internet but I was talking utter nonsense and fell asleep again, to awaken at 12:45.

The painkillers had worn off by then but I had some more around here. I hate using painkillers because while you’re walking around on damaged bone and tissue, you don’t realise the damage that you are doing. But in my case, the right leg is damaged enough so it makes no difference.

It’s a good job that it’s not my left leg that I hurt. I really would be in difficulty. But even so, the damaged nerve in my right leg that gives me those stabbing pains in the soles of my foot that I thought that I’d dealt with is now back again, and in spades too.

After my delicious soup, bread and coffee (and it really was too) I transcribed the dictaphone notes. Yes, to my surprise there were some, but none of the young lady who was here or hereabouts last night. But we did have various musicians with us, including someone from IN THE LAND OF GREY AND PINK, un autre groupe … "dreaming in French again, are we?" – ed … who played in front of us. I leant over too far for something and ended up with my right knee totally collapsed just as the football was finishing. I had to watch the first two chapters on my foot but my right arm was really depressed and unstable. I’ve not able to be visited by my mother-in-law about the cables everywhere yet but when I’m too ill to see The Land Of Grey And Pink … fell asleep here … and the chairwoman as I said called the meeting to order and sent me off for these things

And then some woman was being investigated by the Tax Office for some kind of irregularities in connection with a hairdressing salon. It turned out that many years ago she’d also been the subject of an investigation in respect of a chip shop somewhere in Bradwell in Newcastle under Lyme. Quite naturally, having fallen foul of the Tax Office twice they were being quite severe with her. This investigation had been going on and I’d been asked if I would like to take part in part of it. I went along to see the people there at the Tax Office but for some reason they were extremely busy and never had the time really to talk to me. I just sat there and listened. I knew that the information that they were discussing was wrong but what business of it was mine? The interesting part about this was that they came out with something that was called “The Secret Root”. I didn’t have a clue what the Secret Root was. It turned out that it was some kind of secret and unofficial percentage that the Tax Office uses to bind all transactions together, bearing in mind of course that people have business relationships with each other and that all transactions are somehow interlinked. Back several years ago the figure of the Secret Root was 3.9 but now it was 3.1 and that made a difference to some of the calculations that had been made. I was sitting here really interested because I’d never heard of this Secret Root before. I was intent on finding out more about it because it sounded quite so interesting so I didn’t even bother to mention what it was that I’d come along here to discuss. I just sat there and listened while they were discussing this Secret Root.

One or two people who follow this blog know about my relationship with the local Tax Office in Crewe and I’d tell the rest of you about it, except that a certain law called the Obscene Publications Act is still in force. As well as that, there are certain well-enforced Laws of Libel in the UK and the site that deals with the administration of this blog has terms and conditions about its use.

So instead, let me just ask you what the Tax Office and a pelican have in common.
The answer is that that they can both shove their bills up their @rses

There was no pizza dough left in the freezer so I had to make some more. But Rosemary called me just as I was starting and I ended up being all behind. To make matters worse, I used the wrong flour so the base for the one that I baked wasn’t as good as it might have been.

It was still quite delicious though, as I found out when I came to eat it. And I’m sure that the two in the freezer will do just the same.

So doped up to the eyebrows in painkillers and falling asleep, I’m off to bed. And I’ll try to keep out of mischief while I do it. I can’t go through this again.

But final word on the subject of last night must go to my cleaner.

Having called her at some silly hour to come to my rescue, I apologised for waking her.
"Ohh, I wasn’t asleep" she said. "I was watching TV when you phoned"
"Then I hope that I didn’t make you miss anything interesting" I said.
"Don’t you worry about that" she said. "What goes on in your apartment is far more interesting than anything that I could see on TV."

Thursday 4th January 2024 – TOMORROW MORNING …

… or earlier today if you are reading this on Friday, I shall be hitting the road Jack – or, more likely, Jacques.

Having had a summons from my doctor yesterday to go to the Urgences at the local hospital as soon as possible (or, more likely, as soon as I could spare the time) I had a ‘phone call from the hospital in Paris to the effect of “you need to come to the hospital immediately. We’ve spotted a critical issue with your blood test”.

“Like when?” I asked

“Like this afternoon!”

“That’s out of the question” I replied

So we agreed on tomorrow and he sent me a bon de transport. I then rang up the taxi company and they agreed to pick me up at … gulp … 07:00 so we’ll be in Paris for 11:00 – 11:30.

Consequently I’ve soent much of the day on a paperchase both around here and on-line.

But what a way to finish the week, or spend the weekend. As I said yesterday, they have cut so many bits out of me already that there’s not much left, so I’ve no idea what they are going to do with me.

On the subject of having no idea, I also had no idea about what was going on during the night either. “Lager” was the name of an album by Gigspanner (a group of which I was sent a concert by the people at Shrewsbury and to which I’ve been listening) or one of those groups. When I awoke, it was a name stuck in my head and the music was going round and round in my mind and I couldn’t stop it0 I’ve no idea what’s happening there but certainly the name was meaning something so what was going on?

Then there was the question of a pizza (which I began to dictate in French). One member of the group wanted a pizza although most of the group didn’t but another member of the group would go to fetch it. He went but for some reason he took a fairly long time. He explained that there was a complication outside that had held him up when he’d been leaving and come back. It turned out that a group of people out there weren’t very happy with some of the songs and wanted to discuss it in a confrontational way with members of the group. This also fed over the introduction of the next group – I forgot to mention that the music being played was WE CAN SWING TOGETHER“” and the track afterwards where there was going to be this problem was called something like “The Sea”.

Later on I was back in that dream again. One of the musicians had been out and had been practising one of his songs. There had been some kind of discussion because the words were something like “so I killed my wife” etc and people wanted to know about it. He said that while his wife had died quite early in their marriage it was regarded as an accident. He returned to the dressing room where his current wife was asleep. She was having a dream about something and it suddenly required the injection of a powerful, rocking type of dream and music so her husband went to go but spent most of his time talking to the people who were present and observing it rather than attending to his wife’s wishes wrapping the legs with silicones and stuff and so on.

Back in this dream yet again. I was hungry by now and wanted something to eat. The first thing that I did was to look through the cans that were in the cupboard under the worktop because that’s where there had been some stuff before. All were cans of beer and there were a few chocolate Easter eggs. That was about everything so I asked “what was I going to eat?”. They replied that there was some bread. I replied “I’m glad about that” so “why not make yourself some kind of virtual sandwich and pretend that it has some stuff on it. If you find anything you can fry it using the butter. I thought to myself “this is going to be really complicated, the question of food with this group of people who don’t seem to be willing to take other people’s needs into account.

Back in this dream yet again. This time I’d gone into LIDL for some stuff. I only wanted 2 or 3 things but I noticed when I was in there going around that the line line of people to pass through the checkout was enormous and went more than halfway round the store. I hoped that it would be all clear by the time I begin to line up I don’t want much. What I wanted was the fruit and veg. There were people coming up to me with plenty of fruit and veg – apparently it was the special this week. They had wines and salad and there was something else for one of the women whom we knew, Lady Hamilton or whatever. While dealing with whoever the lady was, what the vegetable was, the clerks at LIDL were fine but they were struggling with the Lord Nelson thing because it had been reduced from full price so the label was no longer valid and they had to type it in by hand but they didn’t know what vegetable it was. In the end they agreed that it was a Washington Artichoke after much looking around. They managed to find it in their database so we could move on. Eventually I reached the till and some young girl there was trying to stop me passing through with certain items but I persisted and in the end managed to pass through. When I was packing up my things I met a boy from school, who was dressed as some kind of medieval knight in artificial armour and carrying a bundle of champagne. I asked him if he was ready for New Year. He replied that he’d dropped his bottle of champagne and had to buy another one. I asked him about the food and everything. He replied “oh I’ll be getting that shortly and we’ll be having a really good feast”. It didn’t look to me as if he was actually going to be ready for anything, dressed as he was like that in this medieval armour

So what that last one was about I really have no idea. Neither do I understand why, during the night, that I’d associate that last dream with the others that occurred beforehand. It seems to have absolutely nothing in common.

But one thing that makes me wonder – why is it that I can step back into dreams like this so easily and not step back into dreams involving Castor, Zero or TOTGA?

The paperchase was paused for a moment so that I could go off to the Centre de Re-education this afternoon. 4 sessions today, and I was totally exhausted too.

Surprisingly, it was the Musculation Doux – the “Gentle Musculation” – that finished me off. Séverine the masseuse and Opéliie the ergotherapist were quite gentle with me, and with the electromassage treatment, I just lay on the bed and thought of England.

Back here, I had my hot chocolate and carried on with the paperchase. I think that I have everything in that respects. If not, it’s too bad now.

Tea was a delicious leftover curry with naan bread and that’s emptied the fridge of everything except half a tin of baked beans.

What I’ll do now is to make my butties and pack my bags ready to leave tomorrow. I’m not sure how long I’ll be away and as usual, the internet connection will be rubbish so you’ll just have to put up with brief notes, which I’ll augment when I return home, whenever that might be.

There’s an emergency, that’s evident, although I don’t feel any worse and I’ve no idea what it is. But without doubt I’ll find out. And so will you in due course too.

But in the meantime, wish me luck.

Sunday 12th November 2023 – AND THERE I WAS …

… planning on a nice relaxing day today with very little, if anything, to do. But as usual, all kinds of events come along to confound me.

What didn’t help was that it wasn’t until 11:42 this morning that I first noticed what time it was. And that is far from being the same as saying what time it was that I actually arose from the dead.

And if things start badly, things can only be worse. You should see the amount of stuff on the dictaphone from during the night. I must have travelled miles and that probably explains why I was so exhausted yet again once I arose.

After I’d had my medication and checked my mails I sat down and began to transcribe the dictaphone notes.

All of them.

There had been a storm or fire or both or something in the big house in which we lived altogether and it had been badly damaged. There was a lot of repair work needed to be done to it. At the moment it was a question of trying to secure the premises against anything worse happening. We were basically divided into shifts and rotas about how to look after the property. I had to stand there on patrol at one point to keep away any onlookers or anyone who might be there for some kind of nefarious purposes. There was a lot of paperwork that had burnt and was blowing around. While I was standing there looking at it a few more bits fell from the ceiling to the ground. I was supposed at this point to go on patrol around the area to see who was about but I had a lot of difficulty walking and I’d be of no use if I had to confront anyone so I decided to let other people do that. When I walked round the corner there on the field even though it was raining were a few of my housemates playing cricket. One of them shouted “go and put the kettle on, Eric” but of course it was going to be extremely difficult because of the fire and the damage and because of my difficulties. In the end he left the cricket field and wandered off somewhere as if he was going to do it.

At some point there was a question of another young girl of woman being involved in this. When we finally met her we found that she was just as handicapped as I am so obviously she couldn’t stand her patrol looking after the building and patrolling the area for a couple of days. We felt that we should have known about her handicap beforehand otherwise we could have made certain allowances for her but now things are under way and already happening it’s rather too late now for that.

It was the custom of the hospital to send several patients dressed up as Father Christmas, his helpers and his reindeer to go and collect money for charitable purposes. This year though they decided that instead of making a sleigh they would do it with a motorbike and sidecar. They asked me if I would like to go but I couldn’t really get in and out of the sidecar very easily so that would seem to rule that out. Then they were having a lot of difficulty trying to think of someone else. I thought to myself that if I’d known that I was expected to do this sort of thing along with everyone else I’d have thought twice about coming here.

And that was another dream that I actually dictated in French.

Then there was someone in our group with a name something like Awotni but when we had a list of members we couldn’t see anyone who corresponded to that. I made some kind of light-hearted remark about Polish family names which was immediately greeted with distaste by some members of the group. Then I remembered thinking that maybe if this person had been treated for a long time he shouldn’t be in our group anyway or maybe the group isn’t the correct place for them to be because this group that I’m in is about everyone being able to do every different thing.

There was also a girl put into our group who didn’t seem to be capable of doing very much. We didn’t think much of that idea because we were all trying to be as equal as possible and doing as many tasks as we could. We didn’t really want anyone who didn’t have the courage to follow it all through. This person seemed to be treating it just as a way of relaxing than a matter of life and death like the rest of us thought that it was. We didn’t appreciate that kind of levity at these serious moments.

“I wish that you’d store your accessories and introduce them into the discussions as appropriate” we said to someone who seemed to be much more able to move about than the rest of us but who didn’t seem to work as hard. We considered that due to the health that everyone put in we ought to be doing so much more and there should be so much more solidarity amongst the patients.

Zero put in an appearance last night. Her father was talking about a Christmas dinner that he’d made and how she’d sat down from the start and eaten absolutely everything put in front of her, all the way through to the Christmas pudding. He was ever so impressed that she’d managed to take all of it. It was the way that he said it that made me think of some kind of double-entendre and to my complete surprise, in the middle of this dream I had an immense fit of jealousy.

It actually reminded me of the girl who went into a pub and asked for a double-entendre so the barman gave her one.

But it was a real surprise, as I could tell from how I dictated it. But at least after talking about Christmas food yesterday, it’s made me focus on what I need to do for Christmas. So Liz – I shall be relying on you to tell me when to start to make my cake to make sure that I don’t leave it too late.

And I’ll make sure that it’s squirrelled away so that Zero can’t find it. As Liz will tell you, I don’t “do” sharing when it comes to cake. However, if Zero (or TOTGA, or Castor) were here, I might be persuaded to make an exception.

My friends from the Wirral came to see me last night. We were talking about all the old times etc. In the end we had to go out to do something. And the wife had a pushchair with one of her kids in it. While I was eating my meal I’d seen a photo and I was trying for ages to place this photo. It suddenly occurred to me that it was the old petrol station in Hungerford Road (of course there never was a petrol station there). I eventually worked out where this photo was and decided that we had to go. There was a big problem about 2 of my cars that needed moving around, some kind of question about them having no tax, no MoT, all Cortima MkIIIs. I needed to move them from where they were stored. We had a huge debate about which one we should move first and which should be moved second. I wasn’t even sure to where I was going to move them. In the end my friend asked me about driving – how come the Senator was the only big vehicle that I had these days. I replied “actually I can’t drive any more anyway so there’s no point having a car. If I am able to drive in the near future it won’t be in professional transport so I won’t need a big car”. We then went back to discussing in which order we were going to move these 2 MkIII Cortinas.

And that’s a recurring dream, isn’t it? Having cars scattered all over the place with no tax or MoT which need to be moved around.

I was in Crewe again last night and had gone to a petrol station. I bumped into a guy … "Lee Jenkins" – ed … whom I knew who played centre-half for Haverfordwest. We began to talk about vehicles and how he’d bought a MkIII Cortina once and when he’d come to sell it he had over £1000 for it. I pointed to mine and said “do you mean like this?”. I was in my gold MkIII estate, the one in the barn in Virlet. His eyes lit up and he said “wow! It’s great!” and went to have a really good look around it. He asked if he could take it for a drive but I had to decline. He said “you’re probably afraid that I’d never bring it back!”. I replied “something like that”. I told him all about the vehicle, one owner from new, guaranteed genuine mileage etc, We had quite a lengthy chat about it.

And “wow” he may well say. Cortina MkIII 2000E models were pretty rare on the ground when they were new and current, but in my atelier in Montaigut is a 2000E saloon and the gold MkIII estate in my barn in Virlet is a 2000E estate of which there are known to be no more than half a dozen still in existence and which is worth a King’s ransom.

Meanwhile, back at the ran … errr … bed I was at work in Belgium. I’d gone out for a coffee break, to stand outside. While I was out there a girl came up and began to attack me, trying to push me into the lake. After I’d fought her off I went into the security hut. The guy there made me a coffee. We had a little chat about how crazy some people are in this building. I had to go to fetch something from my car. On the way back I met a Post Office girl trying to talk to a cat. It turned out that cats received telegrams. You had to give the telegram to the correct cat, not just to any cat. They were trying to train the cats to accept the telegrams which I thought was the strangest thing that I’d ever seen. I walked back down to the front door of the building, pressed the button for the sliding doors to open but nothing happened. I could hear people on the inside but no matter how I pressed the button I couldn’t make the sliding doors open so that I could go in. I thought “this is good, isn’t it? I’m locked outside the building now”.

What with stopping for lunch, it took me until about 15:00 to transcribe all of that – and it might have been done quicker had I not … errr … gone off with the fairies for a while.

Then I went to make my fruit bread. I took my time making the dough and it actually turned out quite well.

After I’d finished my lunch I’d taken the last of the pizza dough out of the freezer (so I’ll have to make some more next weekend) and it had been defrosting.

Just as I was going to deal with it Rosemary rang me for a chat and we had another one of our marathon sessions. She’s rather worried because she has a major operation shortly (which I why she couldn’t have come with me to Michigan) and she wants someone to either reassure her or to talk her out of it.

She talked about her operation at great length and in great detail, despite me telling her on several occasions not to. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall exactly how I feel about operations and surgery.

But it’s not likely that I’m going to talk anyone out of surgery. No matter how ill even the thought of it makes me feel, I’m a firm believer in the principle of Macbeth and the murder of Duncan “If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly”.

It’s much more painful to spend all of this time worrying and postponing it rather than to have it done quickly.

When they operated on my kidneys they didn’t even tell me. They just took me, bed and all, down into the basement, stuck a mask over my face and said “here – smell this!”. And that was the last that I knew about it.

As a result everything was running really late. But the fruit bread is, for once, cooked to perfection and the pizza was pretty good too.

So I’ll wander off and have a good sleep. For a change, there’s nothing happening tomorrow so I can push on with a few things without any interruptions.

Well, such is the theory. We all know how it works in practice.

Tuesday 7th November 2023 – I HAD PLENTY …

… of time to recover from my exertions this afternoon at the Centre de Re-education. The vehicle that came to pick me up was 90 minutes late.

What I expect actually happened was that the vehicle that should have come for me picked up someone else because there was a driver from another ambulance company wandering around for ages trying to find her passenger.

And it’s just as well too because after the night that I’d had, I needed a good rest, although I doubted if I would be so lucky as to have one.

It was another one of these extremely mobile nights where there was a lot going on here and there. Plenty of stuff on the dictaphone as I was to discover later, and I was sure that there was much more to it than that which I recorded too.

Anyway, when the alarm went off I staggered to my feet and went off in search of my medication.

Back in here afterwards I did the very final version of this important letter that I have to write, and then I had to print off the details of my medication to take to the Centre this afternoon.

Surprisingly, there are 14 medicaments on the list, but I’m actually only taking 10. I know about 2 that I’ve stopped taking, but I’m quite curious about the others.

It’s not easy to double-check either as the prescriptions are in Flemish and the trade names of medication in Belgium are quite often different here in France. It’s pretty much some kind of inspired guesswork to fathom in out.

For example, there’s a product that I have to take that contains “Natrium”, which is unknown in France. However, the chemical formula Na refers to sodium and once you realise that, you can work it out. My ‘O’ Level Latin didn’t go to waste. But if only all of it was so easy.

After that I prepared for my Welsh lesson. I took my time at it too but regrettably I crashed out while doing so. The strain of last night was obviously far too much.

In between all of that I was having a chat on the internet with Alison and with Claire. It’s totally bizarre but everyone whom I know seems right now to be ill.

However, that’s not really all that much of a surprise. We’re all pretty much of a similar age and it’s catching up with all of us.

It reminds me of 5 years ago when I was in Liège and met a guy with whom I went to school years ago and who now lives in Munich. We were in a restaurant eating a meal, surrounded by tables with all these cute young girls sitting there eating, and we were talking about our medication.

That was when I finally decided that I was getting old. Prior to that, I always understood that someone who was old was someone 10 years older than me, no matter what age I actually was.

But kids have a habit of deflating your ego. I remember when I started to see Laurence 25 or so years ago and she brought her daughter Roxanne along with her. We were playing guessing games.
"Guess how old I am" I asked six year old Roxanne
"A hundred" she replied, without even drawing breath.

Much of the Welsh lesson passed quite well and I was quite pleased with that, but not so the rest of it.

We usually stop for 10-15 minutes for a coffee break after a couple of hours and so I went for a strip-down wash, seeing as I’m still quite wary about going into the bath for a shower.

And have you any idea how long it takes me to put on clean socks? I am really having the most extraordinary difficulty in performing even the most simple of tasks these days.

The car came for me bang on time and so I struggled down the stairs and outside, and we set off for the Centre de Re-education.

It’s a fantastic place, formerly one of the biggest and most luxurious hotels in the Baie de Granville.

It was requisitioned by the Germans in 1940 and after the Americans captured the town in 1944 it was badly damaged during the infamous German raid from the Channel Islands in the early Spring of 1945 when a detachment of German troops landed in the town and stole a freighter laden with coal from right under the noses of the Americans.

After that it was left semi-derelict until it was converted and it is probably one of the most impressive places that I’ve visited.

As it happens I actually know one of the girls who works here. She was one of the physiotherapists who worked on me in the days when I could walk and used to go twice a week to that centre by the station.

But anyway, a young girl gave my legs a workout and spent some time searching around for damaged nerve ends and the like. And I have to say that she can massage my clavicles any time she likes. There have to be some benefits of being ill.

The next session was a series of “time trials”. They have a kind-of obstacle course and the equivalent of a “measured mile” and I had to negotiate all of it against the clock.

And then I had to wait.

But I now have my programme for the next couple of weeks and it includes a chat with a social worker and also a representative of that body about which I’ve talked previously that it concerned with autonomy and keeping people in their homes as long as possible.

Strangely enough, climbing back up the stairs to here was probably the easiest that it has been for a couple of weeks. It’s probably just a coincidence or maybe even wishful thinking, or maybe it’s that the trousers into which I changed earlier today aren’t as tight as the previous ones.

On the way up I bumped into one of my neighbours, and I was glad to see him. He’s also disabled and has had his car converted to hand controls. I wanted to pick his brains about where he had it done.

After my hot chocolate and biscuits I transcribed the dictaphone notes. I was being interviewed by someone who was wearing some kind of badge that wasn’t the usual badge that I would have expected someone in that position to have been wearing. Just as the interview began and before I could ask too many questions about it I had a falling sensation again in bed and awoke with a frightful start.

It was exactly the sensation that I have when my right leg gives out and I cascade to the floor, and it was really strange that I had exactly the same feeling when I was lying horizontally in bed. As I’ve said before … "and on many occasions too" – ed … there aren’t ‘arf some strange things that go on during the night that have been brought to … errr … light during this project.

And then I’d had a whole pile of homework to do – an enormous amount of it. It was all in various textbooks and on line. I needed to make a start on it but as usual there were all these different distractions etc that were preventing me until I finally managed to sit down at the computer and open one of the workbooks. There was something else happening in this dream about moving around in Shavington and something yet again about a group of us children being divided up into 2 teams by some kind of teacher for a game of rounders. Where that all fitted in I really don’t know but I do remember quite a lot about this trying to sit down and make a start on all of this homework that I had to do.

Later on I’d been out to do some shopping. I was back home in my apartment trying to sort it out and put it away. There were some things that were confusing and I didn’t know exactly where to put them. There was also some flour that i’d bought to make some kind of fruit bread so I threw the flour across to one particular pile on the table but it didn’t arrive. I thought that I must have miscalculated the weight and while it was in the air it must have fallen to the floor. I had a good look round but couldn’t see anything at all around that related to the food that I’d just bought.

Back with this dream about shopping again. I was trying to put everything on the correct shelves but there was so much that needed to be sorted out, things that I hadn’t actually bought before but there was no room for it. I had to start to shuffle everything around and squeeze things up in order to make more room to spread out and sort out my shopping that I’d just received.

And with the manoeuvres of just now, when I’d organised my things I fell over onto the ground but no-one noticed. Once I’d caught my breath I put my hands up to the table to try to raise myself up but at that moment a woman who happened to catch sight of me and hadn’t realised what was going on let out a great yell. She was really shocked. And interestingly, this was something that I dictated in French by the way.

Finally there was another one of these Government safety reports published during the night that laid bare a lot of the failings of the Government with regard to security breaches etc. Most importantly it continued on to say how the Government was trying very hard to shift the blame onto the ordinary people. Of course it wasn’t the people who were talking indiscreetly and the people don’t know any of the secrets anyway. If the people did know any secrets the fact would be that it would have been from leaks in the Government security system that those leaks had come into the public domain. A couple of journalists were tearing quite savagely into the Government last night with this report that they had published.

Later on I wrote out a few more notes for the radio programme on which I’m working, and had a chat on line with my cleaner. We need to change her hours around, what with me having to go out tomorrow afternoon.

And I’m having a visit on Friday afternoon too. I wonder what that’s all about.

Tea tonight was a taco roll made with some of the stuffing left over from Monday, with rice and veg. Tomorrow I’ll have another leftover curry and naan bread.

But let’s see how things go tomorrow down the road. The hard work is going to begin and as long as they can make some progress – or, at least, retard the deterioration – I’ll be happy. But with the Social Services and APA being involved, things are starting to happen.

And that can only be a good thing.

Sunday 13th August 2023 – SO WHILE WE’RE WAITING …

… for my webhost to upgrade the *.php version to correspond with the latest *.sql configuration, we’ll continue the notes ready for upgrading.

And despite not going to bed until about 02:30 this morning, I was still up and about at 10:00 this morning and had I forced myself, I could have been up even earlier. But let’s not go berserk on a Sunday, hey?

It took me a while to wind myself up ready for work but once I was feeling up to it (which takes much longer than it really ought to) I made a start on the radio programme.

What with one thing and another (and once you make a start, you’ve no idea how many other things there are) it took me all day to finish one of them. I dictated the other set of notes last night too but I haven’t even started on that lot yet

It’s probably due to the fact that there was so much stuff on the dictaphone. I had a really busy night last night. A was working for a French radio company last night. We’d prepared a whole series of programmes. As they started, we found that there were changes to be made. One was the introduction to the programme. It needed someone to say something like “it’s now 09:00 and the following programme is ..” whatever. We decided that I’d do that. I picked up a microphone and one or two other things then set off on my motorbike and sidecar down Bedford Street into Gresty Road and headed out of Crewe. I’d no idea what time it was etc but it looked like the correct time so I pulled off the road onto a footpath where I could park a 2-wheeled vehicle. I had to force my way down the track on this motorbike and sidecar, damaging pillars etc until I came to the other end of the parking area where there was somewhere to park. I began to make my announcement but I couldn’t remember what to say at first. I had to give the matter a great deal of thought. Someone else had to help me with that. But the idea of recording all of these introductions then just pressing the relevant button before the programme began just didn’t enter into my head.

The people in these provocative tee-shirts set out, the Americans, these people for 24 hours, the British being much more polite. The people set out on this kind-of race. At the radio station we had to manage to cover it somehow but we had no real equipment and very little time spare left over, and not much size on the radio station’s internet storage on which to store it all. Whatever all that is about, I really don’t know.

There was also the question of the English boy’s vest and pants didn’t fit. They had to break into somewhere and steal another one, much to the annoyance of the Welsh tutor and that’s all that I can remember.

Then I was having another dream in French just now about all this food that was to be eaten at this horror show party. A mother cat came along and brought her kittens one by one. When she thought that each kitten had had enough to eat she took it out of the bowl where the food was, take it somewhere else and fetch another kitten, repeating the process. It was really interesting to watch, the way this mother was making sure that all of her kittens had enough food to eat without overdoing anything.

Later on when these important people took to the stage I began to dream in Welsh to present them. It’s all happening here.

I was back with my cats playing American Football again. I had a cat n°11 who was complaining that he had a stone in his eye. That was presumably while he’d been acting like a wild thing during the earlier stages of the game. Once more I’m missing loads of this dream that I knew happened but I can’t remember as soon as I picked up the dictaphone.

Then there was a discussion about the Saudi Arabian football team and their n°11. Sure enough he was the first name on the screen, a description about him and how he was going to be their star player during their next World Cup adventures.

Finally I was with my father and someone else. The other person and I had come into our village by coming through the mountains on an old road that was all overgrown with brambles and weeds etc. It had taken ages. We passed several old roads on the way that looked extremely interesting. When we met my father we recounted our journey so he asked us to take him. We agreed and set off back, fought our way back all the way up the hill through a forest, undergrowth etc. We came to a spot where someone’s back garden of a house backed onto the path. Those people were in there having a party. I told my father “what we’ll do is to climb over the hedge here, push those big weeds around there and climb over the one there and not take any notice or pay any attention to the people in their back garden”. We explained the procedures so he replied “fair enough”. He’d noticed a post box and said “I have to post a letter. I’ve already written it, it’s in an envelope with a stamp. Seeing as there’s a post box here I’ll put it in there”. I said “well ok but this is the kind of box that’s only emptied once every Preston Guild. You want at least to make sure when the next connection will be otherwise it could be in here for ever”.

It’s hardly surprising that it took ages to type out all of that. It’s even more surprising that I was up and about so early too

There was football on the internet too this afternoon so as well as trying to resolve my web-hosting issues I was watching the football – Colwyn Bay v Caernarfon in Colwyn Bay’s beautiful, modernised stadium.

Colwyn Bay’s first match in the Premier League watched by the biggest crowd in North Wales for several years, and they were treated to a full-blooded affair with no holds barred. A proper North Wales derby.

For the first hour or so Colwyn Bay had the upper hand although Caernarfon had far too many old hands on the field to be caught out and were actually leading 1-0.

But then lack of experience, lack of concentration and a few silly mistakes undid them and Caernarfon rattled in 3 more goals quite quickly and the game petered out.

If the final whistle had gone after an hour, Colwyn Bay could have been quite satisfied about their prospects for the rest of the season but how quickly the fell away at the end is bound to be a source of worry for the manager and the team.

But right now I’m going to worry about my Welsh course tomorrow, my *.php coding and whether I’m going to have a good night’s sleep. I need to make the most of whatever time I have in bed if I want to be fighting fit in the morning.

Monday 22nd May 2023 – WHEN I AWOKE …

… this morning, I was actually fully clothed flat out on top of the bed. I’ve no idea what happened there but I must have been really tired.

However not so tired that I didn’t get up early. Once more, when the alarm went off at 07:00 I was already up and about.

Yes, that was one strange night.

Once I’d had my medication and checked my mails and messages I started work. And by the time I finished at tea-time, I’d finished two radio programmes.

Had things been different they would have been finished a lot earlier too but there were plenty of interruptions.

Firstly, the nurse came round and gave me my fortnightly injection. It’s supposed to perk me up and keep me going for another two weeks but it doesn’t feel like it. The effects of the product are definitely not working as well as they did at first and wearing off quicker.

They’ve already increased the dose from 40mg to 60 mg and I suppose that the next step will be to have the injections every 10 days instead of every 14.

The “release and retained” lists for the clubs in the Welsh pyramid were released today as well – 9 days early and already, players are on the move around. Consequently I’ve had to start to update my lists earlier than usual.

And then someone with whom I wanted to have a word came on line so we were chatting for some considerable time too.

Going back to the radio programme, when I was in France during my schooldays I met a Swiss bassist called Walter Fröhlich. He was one of the bassists who, along with Felix Pappalardi and Gerry McAvoy, inspired me to play bass in the days before I heard “Quadrophenia”. Wandering around in the depths of my back-up drive I came across one of the songs on which Fröhlich played so of course I had to include it in one of the programmes.

All in all, I accomplished a lot today although it doesn’t much look like it.

Tea was a stuffed pepper with pasta and vegetables. Yes, pasta. I said I would, and there was some nice spicy tomato sauce to go with it too.

There was the dictaphone too. I had my own apartment in Granville somewhere last night. It wasn’t by the sea at all but in the St Nicolas area. I’d spoken to Percy Penguin (who doesn’t appear in these pages half as often as she deserves) about coming round but she was with another guy and said “the two of us would come round”. She put her boyfriend on the phone and he spoke to me. We agreed to meet up at 20:45. He asked what the weather was like because it was pouring down with rain. I said that it’s really wet under foot but not waterlogged or anything like that so it’s OK to move around. He replied “yes but the big difficulty is that Percy Penguin is the same height as you so we’d end up with 3 of us on my motor bike”. My response was “that’s OK. We can go out in Caliburn. I decided that the best thing was for me to go round at 21:00 and pick them both up. They were living here in this building at the time so I thought that it would be nice for Caliburn and me to come back.

And later on I was at a strange kind of roundabout or road junction somewhere. To negotiate it was extremely complicated and I ended up flattening a couple of trees that had been planted because of the way that some vehicles had been parked on it. A car and I merged in together on this junction but the other driver felt that he should have had priority although there wasn’t a road sign anywhere. It certainly wasn’t clear. When I stopped he left his car and came to start an argument. I explained the situation as I’d seen it but he carried on and on and on. I said “look, something happened there and something wasn’t correct but it doesn’t make any difference. No-one had any problems. The vehicles didn’t touch each other” but he still carried on. I went on saying “if you become upset like this every time you see something happen that’s not what you think is correct then I’m surprised that you ever get anywhere”. But so it continued.

The interesting thing about it was that all of this took place in French.

So I’ll be off to bed in a minute. There’s a Welsh lesson tomorrow so I need to do some revision and be ready to go. But I don’t feel like it. In fact I don’t feel much like anything right now. But I dunno. It’ll all work out in Boomland, as T2 told us back in 1970. And that reminds me – where the heck is my copy of that? I haven’t seen that around for absolute ages.

Wednesday 1st March 2023 – THAT WAS A …

… loooooooooooooooooooong day today.

14 hours I was on the road in total, give or take a few minutes. I left my home at about 07:10 and arrived in Leuven at just about 21:00.

Yes, I’m in Leuven. I’ve heard nothing from the heart people and nothing from the people who are dealing with my cancer, but regardless, the kidney people contacted me for an appointment.

Not that I’m all that bothered, because as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, after the events of October and November I’m pretty-much resigned to the inevitable, but I was interested in seeing, as well as I could, how I could cope with the travelling.

And so having gone to bed rather early last night, I was up with the lark at 06:00 and made some sandwiches and so on, and did a little organising.

Plenty of stuff on the dictaphone last night. My mother was a policewoman last night. She was interrogating a suspect or witness or something similar but was doing it at home. This was dragging on into the night and we as kids couldn’t go to sleep. In the end there was no real point going to bed so we were just sitting up waiting for her to finish. But it just went on and on. We’d go in regularly to ask how she was doing. She said that she wasn’t ready yet. We’d go in to pick a banana or something to eat. In the end one of my sisters went in. My mother said quite sharply that it wasn’t going to be finished before 05:00. This was the final straw as far as we were concerned. That was a ridiculous time for children to be still up and about waiting for their mother to finish her work.

This dream continued later on. We were crying out for toilet paper or tissues etc. Some guy came into the apartment where we were living with his arms full of rolls of toilet paper and just dumped it on the floor in one of the rooms and then left. We kids had to go in there to sort out what he’s just brought and check what we had then organise the bathroom with it.

Plus tard nous avons eu l’idée de reintégrer le chasson dans la famille qu’on a du faire alors le chef s’est adapté assez rapidement et le chat de la famille est poussé en dehos du groupe alors celà a provoqué une investigation comment on a fait commencer et c’est à ce moment-là qu’on a eu la série de la pied d’entre nous

So, a dream in French yet again. And I haven’t translated it because it’s total nonsense that makes no sense whatsoever.

Just after 07:00 I headed for the hills and Caliburn and we drove to the station where I was lucky enough to find a parking space almost right outside the door.

When the train came in, I headed off in the direction of Rennes, but only as far as Avranches where I alighted. Public transport is so messed up here that you end up going all round the Wrekin to get anywhere.

The bus came in at 08:55 and we drove through the snow (yes, the snow!) and ended up in Caen where we had a half-hour wait for the next bus. This was packed to the gunwhales but I found a seat eventually and we roared off to the big underground bus station at Bercy in Paris.

This time a wait of 45 minutes before the next bus came in. This was likewise packed but the driver made sure that I had a comfortable place by the door. We called at the airport and then all the way to Brussels, making a stop at a service station where I grabbed a coffee.

Stuck in the traffic for ages, we eventually arrived in Brussels rather later than planned so I’d missed the train that I wanted and had to catch a later train. The escalator up to the platform wasn’t working so I had a long walk to find the lift.

The train was a push-me-pull-you double-decker and climbing into these proved to be quite difficult as the steps in are quite high. I had quite a bit of difficulty and it was extremely awkward.

Having eaten my sandwiches on the way to Paris, I tucked into my potatoes and lentils on the train and that was a really good plan because they went down a treat.

Leaving the train at Leuven was difficult too but I managed in the end.

The hotel where I’m staying must have been wonderful 100 years ago. It’s certainly seen better days. It’s not one of my usual haunts but it’s right outside the railway station so I don’t have far to stagger. It’s expensive too, hence I’m only staying for two nights and coming home on Friday.

And the verdict?

It’s quite difficult and I’m glad that I did bring two crutches, not just one. When things are on the level I’m fine and I could in theory go for miles but carrying a backpack up hills and steps is quite complicated and I have real difficulty trying to carry a coffee cup too.

At one point I was thinking that I might be ready for another adventure with backpack and airline ticket but having done all this today, maybe I’ll leave it a while before making more plans.

But I got here, and that’s a miracle in itself

Thursday 8th September 2022 – THIS WEATHER …

rainstorm baie de mont st michel pointe de carolles Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… has certainly changed dramatically over the last week or so and I’m glad that I went to Jersey when I did.

While I was out there this afternoon on my post-prandial crawl, there was another rainstorm out in the bay. It was missing us by quite a few miles and battering the Pointe de Carolles and Jullouville.

But not to worry. We had had a considerable numbers of showers throughout the day. One moment we had bright sunlight and the next moment we were knee-deep in the rain.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022What has happened today, if you haven’t guessed it from watching the rain cloud, is that the wind has turned round.

Instead of blowing from the south-east it’s now back in its usual direction of north-west. That has stirred up all of the waves and as you can see, Le Loup, the marker light on the rocks at the entrance to the harbour, is taking something of a battering.

Not as much as it might have done though because the wind has dropped slightly today. Had we had yesterday’s wind, we wouldn’t have seen it for the spray.

weeds place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022but at least the local vegetation is enjoying it.

As we have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … the local vegetation is extremely resilient. As you can see, the weeds that grow around here have sprung dramatically into life already.

You would have thought that after 47 days without a drop of rain they would have been dead and buried but that’s far from the case. You can see now how it is that after a rainstorm in the Sahara, animal life suddenly makes a dramatic reappearance after having lain dormant for so long.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Unfortunately, last night I didn’t remain dormant long enough.

While you look at a couple of photos of the waves breaking on the harbour wall I was tossing and turning in bed trying my best to sleep.

The number of times that I awoke for no good reason is something that I can’t understand, but there we are. It’s not as if there were masses of notes on the dictaphone.

And once again, leaving my stinking pit was something of a challenge too, just as it has been for the last few weeks or so. I might be feeling a little better these days and not falling asleep during the afternoon but I’m obviously not that much better.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022after the medication I came in here and checked my mails.

And to my surprise there was a message from that garage in British Columbia. But only to say that the VIN that I quoted was wrong.

What I had to do then was to contact Rosemary to ask her to take a photo of her friend’s Carte Grise so that I can forward it on. A photograph can’t lie.

But I seemed to have dropped myself right into the middle of some “events” down there and we’ll have to see how that transpires.

spirit of conrad baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So while you look at few more photos, this time of boats, which in this one might be Spirit of Conrad I put everything behind me and started work.

The morning was spent on my trip to Jersey last week. And despite all the time that I spent on it, I’m still standing at the ferry terminal waiting to board Victor Hugo in order to set off for the Channel Islands.

That’s about photo number 5, and when you realise that there are 94 altogether that need things doing to them, you’ll understand that it’s going to be a very long job. Especially when you consider that I’m not as young, fit and enthusiastic as I used to be.

yacht cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022This afternoon … well, shock! Horror! I’ve cleaned the bathroom.

It goes without saying that I had a shower first so that I wouldn’t dirty it afterwards, and then I stripped out all that I could. The floor has been brushed, vacuumed and mopped, the carpet has been cleaned, and so has absolutely everything else.

What I haven’t done though is to empty and clean the cupboards. There are limits to what I’m prepared to do when I’m not feeling too well. That’s going to be a job for another time.

But really, I’m swamped in unused medicine and so on and I really don’t know what to do with it. The best plan will be to speak to the chemist next time that I’m down there and check with her.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Eventually I could call a temporary halt to the proceedings in the bathroom because it was time for my afternoon stagger outside.

As usual I wandered over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening down there on the beach.

Just a handful of people down there this afternoon wandering about in the sunshine. No-one sunbathing, which is no surprise, and no-one in the water either. It seems that the summer is now over as far as that is concerned.

Mind you, they wouldn’t have far to run each time the weather broke because they couldn’t be any wetter standing in the water than they would be standing in the rain.
“The boy stood on the burning deck
While all around had fled
But for the rain
I’d examine his brain
a passing psychiatrist said”

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The weather further out to sea was quite hazy but closer to home there were some surprising views today.

One of the best was the Ile de Chausey. It’s not every day that we see it looking as nice as this. It was quite clear and we could see the colours of the island quite distinctly

Interestingly, you can see some white vertical lines over there on the island. Many of the houses down there are all painted white and what you are actually seeing is the the sun catching the end walls of the houses and the light reflecting therefrom.

And you can see how rough the sea is as well today. That’s probably one of the reasons why there are no swimmers.

la grande ancre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Having seen all that there was to see over on this side of the headland I crawled down to the viewpoint on the other side of the headland where I could overlook the port.

Yesterday we saw Le Coelacanthe and le Tiberiade moored down there, but they have cleared off today. In their place, and obviously compting in a new series of “Musical Ships” is La Grande Ancre

She has one of the harbour lighters on board, as well as a pile of fishing equipment.

There’s another boat behind her – a small inshore shell-fishing boat but at this distance I’m not able to see who she might be. Anyway, she didn’t stay long and was soon on her way.

le soupape, pescadore, peccavi, chant des sirenes le styx le poulbot chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile, more excitement in the Chantier Naval.

Trafalgar, the white trawler with blue and pink stripes, has now gone back into the water and her place has been taken by an unidentified shell-fishing boat.

Also back in the water today is Charlevy. She’s been replaced by Le Styx whom we saw moored in the inner harbour for a few days.

There’s another change too. Le Poulbot has moved from her position in front of Le Soupape and she’s now up on blocks in front of Le Styx.

Plenty of people down there working too. It’s quite a hive of activity down there this afternoon.

cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022A little earlier you might have noticed a photo with a yacht and a cabin cruiser in it.

This is a better photo of the cabin cruiser. It looks quite old and I bet that it’s a beast of a thing and just the kind of boat that I would like to own.

It’s quite a shame really but had things been very different, I might have ended up living on a boat in a harbour. But then again, had things really been different, I would still be living in the Auvergne. sigh

Still, this isn’t the time to be all broody

trafalgar les bouchots de chausey port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Just in case you are wondering where Trafalgar is, she’s over there just about to tie up in front of Les Bouchots de Chausey

There’s a large pile of fishing net just there where she’s about to tie up, so I imagine that’s her net and they’ll be fixing it back on this evening ready to go out fishing tomorrow.

From there I headed back home where I had an “unusual” encounter with a rather inebriated motorist who wanted to engage me in conversation

This afternoon I walked quite far considering everything. But it showed that I’m still far from having recovered from the events of last week. And even if I were to be moving around easier, I’d still be quite wary about trusting this right leg in the future.

Back here I had some more ginger beer and then listened to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. I was taking an exam for the Open University. There was one subject with 3 parts to this question, each of which was an essay all done under the heading of one question. It was quite complicated. The first part I did without too many problems whatsoever. The second part was much more difficult but the third part seemed to be straightforward so I simply dictated that answer then went back to do the second part. At one point I stood up to walk around and stretch my legs just as one of the main invigilators came into the room. He was astonished to see people up and about walking around. He ordered us to sit down and carry on. It was 20 past something already and we only had 10 more minutes. I was suddenly in a panic then. Not only had I to dash down the rest of the answers to this second part, I realised that the third part being dictated won’t fetch any marks. I’d have to write that out again. Then my handwriting had disintegrated and became more like a doctor’s handwriting. I thought to myself that really this is going to be an absolute and total fail before I even started anything. I could see that happening here..

Later on I was working for the Resistance. It was being completely shaken up by the French government. Ally my hippie friends were being pursued. I was trying to keep out of the way but at the same time give them what support I could. There was a group of them fleeing down Crewe Road towards Goodall’s Corner in Shavington. I followed them down there at a safe distance. Most of them had been dispersed. There was just a couple there. They’d gone on a flight in a light aircraft. I joined the flight and it went to Paris. We all piled out at Paris in the suburbs and the plane went off to land somewhere for the night. We would make our way on foot to that place so as not to attract attention by arriving by plane. We started to walk. This young girl who was in charge was extremely nervous. An older person was rather more steady so I found myself walking with him or her for much of the time. I noticed that the lens hood of my camera had gone. It must have fallen off either in the plane or when we were running around. We came to near the Gare du Nord to catch our train. There were three statues at the side of the road. The other guy went to take a photo of them so I did too but my camera decided not to work for some reason no matter how much I tried (and that’s a recurring theme during my dreams, isn’t it?). By now this girl was in a real state because there had been €1400 taken from her bank account “to pay crash fees”. There had been another deduction for crash fees that she’d not seen how much it was yet in respect of this light aeroplane. apparently when it landed it was detained for e few minutes and the pilot questioned before he could go on his way again. They linked it to this girl and somehow with having access to her bank account they’d debited her with crash fees, which were the fees for the officials to turn up at the site. I was thinking jamais deux sans trois but I hope that this aeroplane will be OK when we meet it and that it hasn’t really crashed because she’d really have something about which to complain if they take away the money from her account for the real crash of an aeroplane.

vegan curry pasty place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There was some curry left over after yesterday’s tea and I wanted to do something different with it.

Consequently I made some pastry with the aim of making something like a Cornish pasty with it. But my pastry didn’t turn out too well, there wasn’t enough filling and generally speaking it wasn’t a great success from the making point of view.

But from the eating point if view, it was everything that you would want from an impromptu meal, along with baked potatoes and veg cooked in a really thick gravy.

There were really no words to describe how nice this was. It made quite a pleasant change from the usual diet.

So bedtime now. Not much to clean now and I’ll finish that tomorrow with a bit of luck. And then I can speak to the woman who I’ve lined up to come and clean for me.

It was a step that I thought that I would never take but it’s taken me almost 3 weeks to clean this place and it’s still not very good. But I can’t keep on going like this. Something needs to change, although I’m not quite sure what.

But I’ll worry about that another time. Right now I’m off to bed.

Thursday 13th May 2021 – IT’S AN ILL WIND …

kite surfing beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… that doesn’t blow anyone any good.

And sure enough, as the weather deteriorated after lunch and we ended up with high gusting winds and a torrential rainstorm, there were people out here who were able to enjoy it, as I noticed when I went to look at the beach on my afternoon walk.

They seemed to be enjoying themselves out there, which was more than I was doing with the rain falling down the back of my neck.

And during the night, I didn’t enjoy it very much either. I had another miserable night of suffering continual attacks of cramp that made me have to get up on several occasions to walk around to ease everything off.

It goes without saying that I knew that I was going to suffer for this during the day, and I wasn’t wrong either.

Nevertheless I managed to be up at the sound of the first alarm and after the medication I came in here to sort myself out.

One thing that I’d planned to do was to to sort out the music on the computer. I have stuff all over the place that needed tidying up and I attended to that first. That led to the rather unfortunate circumstance of renaming 13 files that I didn’t want to rename and not the one that I was trying to do.

Later on I went for a shower and then set the washing machine off on a cycle prior to going out to the shops.

trawler entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd I seemed to have picked the right time to go out too because there was quite a lot of activity in the outer harbour right now.

The weather was quite nice and I actually went out without a coat. It was cloudy to the east and looked pretty dismal but with a westerly blowing the good weather towards me, I wasn’t too bothered about the clouds.

There was quite a lot of wind out there too and the yachts in the Baie de Mont St Michel weren’t half being tossed around. The trawler that was coming in to the fish processing plant was rolling about rather wildly as well and I was glad that I wasn’t out there in all of that.

trawler port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was a lot calmer in the inner harbour of course. It’s well-protected from the wind and the waves.

I had the impression that the gates hadn’t been open all that long because there were one or two boats heading in, and a couple of trawlers moored at the Fish Processing Plant were now casting off ready to go out to sea.

But what’s interesting about this photograph is that Aztec Lady isn’t there at the moment. She seems to have slipped out on the tide overnight and headed off elsewhere out of the way. At the moment even as I write, according to my radar she’s just outside the harbour at St Cast le Guildo, one of the places where we slept when we were on board Spirit of Conrad.

swimming pool port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday I mentioned that the little freighters that come over from Jersey must be keeping a low profile as I haven’t hears of them coming over for a little while.

That looks as if it’s about to change. I know that Normandy Trader has the contract with a swimming pool manufacturer to take their swimming pools over to Jersey, and there are a couple down there on the quayside by the loading crane. That must mean that the arrival of Normandy Trader is expected some time fairly soon.

In town I bumped into Pierre, the owner of Spirit of Conrad, and we had a little chat. And then I headed off to the railway station to pick up my tickets for next week’s trip to Castle Anthrax. At the moment the trains are running normally so I don’t have to worry about an 04:30 start.

At LIDL I spent a little more than usual but they had no cocoa powder or frozen peas. And so I’m not going to get away with not going to LeClerc on Saturday. Mind you, it’s been several weeks since I’ve put my sooty foot in that direction so it won’t do any harm.

Coming back from LIDL was a struggle and it took me a lot longer than it normally would. I’m definitely not feeling myself right now which is just as well, because it’s a disgusting habit. It was so late when I returned that there was no point in having my fruit bread. I just made my hot chocolate and then emptied the washing machine and hung everything up to dry.

Unfortunately I also crashed out on the chair and was well away for quite a while – to such an extent that I ended up with rather a late lunch.

Fighting off another wave of sleep I carried on with sorting out the music. I’ve ended up with about 40 concerts that I can use for the radio shows without having to be inventive or imaginative. That’s quite a useful and will save me a considerable amount of work in the future, I hope.

If I can do three concerts on Monday I’ll be right up to date except for the concert that I’ll be doing for the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival and the “special” programme that I’ll be doing in respect of a CD that I found in a junk shop in Maine, USA a few years ago.

later on, despite the torrential rain, I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSurprisingly there were quite a few other people out there too despite the weather.

There’s another very low tide this afternoon when the water level drops below the leased concessions so there were some folk out there with all of their equipment going for a scratch around in the sand and on the rocks to see what they can harvest.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we did an outside broadcast from the peche à pied last year, talking to the people out there scavenging and collecting recipes from them as to how to prepare their catch. There were even a couple of guys having a banquet among the rocks with fresh oysters and the like.

But despite what people say, oysters aren’t all they are cracked up to be. I had a dozen on my wedding night and only 9 of them worked.

jade 3 trawler chausiais ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’re back on the subject of NAABSA – “Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground” – fishing boats again.

Over there is a trawler (who I later identified as Jade 3 tied up to the wharf by the terminal for the ferries to the Channel Islands and the Ile de Chausey and left to sink onto the silt now that the tide is out. It still bewilders me as to why there are so many boats left out in the outer harbour rather than being tied up properly in the inner harbour.

Behind her is moored Chausias, the little freighter that runs supplies out to the Ile de Chausey. She seems to be living there at the moment, which I suppose isn’t too much of an issue seeing as the Channel Islands ferries aren’t sailing right now.

Back here I had a coffee and then started on the photos from Wyoming in August 2019 but unfortunately I crashed out yet again and missed some of my guitar practice. I’m doing no good at all right now.

Tea was a stuffed pepper with rice and vegetables followed by more of my delicious chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce. And fool that I am – I’d had the laptop on all day editing a rather large concert and after tea I forgot myself and switched off the laptop. I lost all of the work that I’d done and had to do it all over again which made me late for everything else.

Rosemary rang me too for a chat while I was doing it so I was rather distracted and it took me longer than it should to set it all up and prepare it ready to do again. But now that I’ve set it up, it can spend all of the night doing its stuff now though while I’m asleep (I hope).

So while that’s doing I’ve written up my notes and I’m off to bed. Much later than I wanted but it can’t be helped. There’s plenty of work to do tomorrow but at least I have all day to do it.

Part of the work was to listen to today’s dictaphone notes that somehow slipped through the net, and find out where I’d been during the night. I’d actually been to rescue Nerina. She’d been out somewhere in the beige Cortina and I finally caught up with her around Nantwich/Acton way. The lights had gone out, the headlights, so I pushed the connectors back in and they came back on but they weren’t very bright but she managed to get back going home. I mentioned to her about the time all the lights had gone out at such and such a time. She replied that she knew that she had gone out before then but “I knew that I could drive because I knew where I was. It wasn’t difficult” but I couldn’t imagine her driving all the way around Warmingham without any lights on. She was laughing about one of her friends saying “driving tests and driving regulations are all important because that’s how you pass your test” and yet her friend had followed all the rules and regulations and failed. We got near to a town that might have been Nantwich and we were talking about Hughie Green and Monica Rose, how Hughie Green used to give specific instructions to Monica so that she knew exactly what was happening, where it was happening and when it was happening and why it was happening so that everything went off really smoothly. We were confusing him with Wilfred Pickles. Just then she noticed that he was around somewhere so we thought that we’d go to see him. We walked down that way and came to one of these food caravans that we knew. I asked her if she wanted a drink. She said that she would have a pineapple, but she said it in French ananas. As she got there she went to a special machine where they had some kind of home-brewed hot drink of some description and she poured herself a big glass. I asked “get one for me as well” which she did and we could get some food in the inside and then go and have a chat with Wilfred Pickles

Thursday 16th July 2020 – TODAY WAS …

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall… not much better than the last couple of days. In fact in some respects it was worse because I missed the third alarm yet again.

So while you admire the photos of tonigh’s sunset, I’ll tell you that I only missed the alarm by 5 or so minutes, but a miss is as good as a mile, as we all know. What didn’t help was that all through the night I was awoken by some wicked attacks of cramp that really had me in pain. I could have done without those, right enough.

After the medication I checked the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallYes I’m not too sure about very much of last night’s dream at all except that I was in Belgium and I’d been out somewhere. I’d ended up on the frontier with France right on the point of a headland by the sea. There was a river that divided the two countries and you could see everything that was happening in France and I took a few photos. Then I went back to tell everyone where I’s been but people weren’t all that concerned or interested in what I was doing.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallA little later on I was playing football, playing central defence. I’d gone into a kind of forward attacking role to play the ball but I’d made a bit of a mess of it and the ball had got behind me with three attackers so I was running back after it but I just blew up – ran out of steam completely and could hardly move while I was chasing the ball and chasing these players
After another attack of cramp I went back to sleep and found myself on the playing field at the back of where we used to live in Shavington. There was the upper football pitch and the lower football pitch and I was on the upper one. everyone else was on the lower one and no-one was coming along to play with me so in the end I went down to join the others. But there were many more than 11-a-side there so I reckoned that one team ought to wear chasubles (I’m dreaming in French again) so that we would know who is on which team.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving disposed of all of that I turned my attention to the photos from July 2019. Another 50 or so bit the dust today which is good news, although I haven’t advanced very far. Right now we are in a fleet of zodiacs zooming around Kangerluluk Fjord on the east coast of Greenland. At this rate I’m never going to get to the North-West Passage, never mind New Brunswick.

It was shopping today too so I had a shower and a weigh-in. And my weight is still under my first target weight which is good news, I suppose.

And nice and clean, I changed the bedding and did a machine-load of washing. It’s all clean and nice-smelling right now which is good. I like the conditioner that I bought the other week.

film crew foyer des jeunes travailleurs place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallSo off into town I set, having a quick chat with a neighbour as I left.

But I didn’t get very far. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that there’s a film being made here just now. The seem to have transformed the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs into some kind of Government office and it was all floodlit this morning.

They must be filming something right at this moment, I reckon. And for that reason we are not allowed to approach the site.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route into town continued. And as I looked over the wall here I could see that down in the harbour “Old Faithful” is nack.

Chausiais must have moved pretty smartly this morning from the mooring underneath the crane because Normandy Traders, one of the little freighters from Jersey, is now in port.

The gates havent long been open so I imagine she sneaked in on the morning tide to drop off a load of shellfish from the Jersey Seafood Co-operative and pick up a load of material.

moving house place godal granville  manche normandy france eric hallOn I pushed to the Rampe du Monte Regret where I pictured a bizarre kind of house removal.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that in Brussels we had portable lifts for all of this, but here apparently not. They were hauling up the stuff by hand with a couple of ropes.

That must have been hard work but it’s not a new experience for me. When I was younger I did all kinds of furniture removals like this, but that was in the days before Health and Safety regulations were in force.

Making my way into town, I called at the Post Office and sent off my letter – the one that I had written yesterday. Then I walked on to LIDL.

It beats me really why I went because I didn’t want to buy very much at all – and for a good reason too as regular readers of this rubbish will find out in a couple of days.

weedkillling with hot water rue de la houle granville manche normandy france eric hallIn the end, the grand total of €6:12 or something like that was what I spent.

On the way back down the Rue de la House I encountered this trange phenomenon – some people spraying the streets. That intrigued me greatly so I went to make further enquiries.

On the side of their little vehicle was a little sticker “weedkiller with boiling water”. So that’s what they are doing them. Pouring boiling water on the weeds.

How effective is that? I asked myself. It’s better for the environment than Agent Orange, that’s for sure. But does it really work that well?

On the way back I called at the vegetable shop and bought two (yes, two) carrots. For tea tonight and tomorrow. I won’t be needing any more for a while after that.

loading normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd so I headed on home up the Rue des Juifs.

Normandy Trader was still there being worked on. They were loading her up quite rapidly so it looks as if they are pushing to have her out of the harbour and on her way as soon as the gates open this afternoon

Back here I carried on with the photos for a while and then I had something else to do. There are a couple of cunning plans running round my head right now, one or two of which I have put in motion already.

One of the people approached actually replied (and another one did later this evening too) so I decided to push my luck and see if fortune would carry me onwards. That meant replying to the mail with a certain amount of jen ne sais quoi and seeing where we go with this.

But it’s not for right now, although it makes sense to push along while it’s fresh in people’s minds.

After lunch I started on my two courses. Firstly the song-writing course. And by the time that I knocked off I’d done the first week.
It didn’t teach me anything new but that’s not a problem. There is plenty of time and I have great hopes for this.

joly france baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter I’d finished I went for my afternoon walk around the walls.

The tourist season is well under way as we can imagine right now. Joly France is keeping quite busy, taking day-trippers on a couple of laps around the bay as she waits for the tides to turn so she can go back to the Ile de Chausey and pick up those whom she dumped on there earlier.

They do a lot of work in the tourist season, do the two Joly France boats. This is the older one, with the smaller windows, the larger upper deck and without the step in the stern.

boats people fishing baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThis is the kind of thing that makes me wish that I’d been out here 10 minutes earlier.

There is a huge load of small boats moored just off the headland as if there is a shoal of sea-bass in the vicinity. It seems to me that anyone who can hold a rod in his hand is out there trying his luck at catching supper.

I learnt the following day that it was in fact a shoal of mackerel that had appeared off the headland

And what confusion it must have caused to everyone when Joly France came round the corner at a rapid rate of knots. Scattered them like ninepins, I reckon.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallCarrying on my walk around the walls, I came to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

The tide is rushing in right at this moment and the massed crowds of grockles have now retreated up to the sea wall to keep their feet out of the sea.

The tide isn’t a particularly high tide today – a coefficient in the 40s – so they might be lucky and stay dry. But it would be interesting to see the outcome of all of this if the tide does comme in higher than they are expecting.

hang glider bombed by seagull plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd not just on land or in the sea was it busy.

It goes without saying that there was plenty going on in the air this afternoon too. The Birdmen of Alcatraz are out there in force swooping around like a bunch of vultures.

The seagull here is taking a great deal of exception to this particular birdman. It spent a good 10 minutes or so buzzing him, presumably to get him to clear off. Unfortunately I didn’t have tile to stay and see how it ended but my money was on the seagull.

kids jumping from diving platform plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd not just boats out on the sea either. There were plenty of swimmers there too.

The diving platform was crowded with people too and others in the sea swimming out that way to take part in the sports. This young boy here showed us quuite an acrobatic somersault into the water.

He received a good 4.9 for artistic impression from the bystanders but he lost a few points on the technical merit. His entry into the water could have been better.

kids jumping from diving platform granville manche normandy france eric hallBut at least he entered the water quite rapidly. This young boy here was not quite so keen.

The onlookers on the cliff were urging him on, chanting “sautez, sautez” but he didn’t budge. A couple of the people on the platform were also counting him down to enter the water too.

Eventually the young boy in the previous photo pushed his way to the front and leapt in. This seemed to galvanise the other one here into action and he leapt in immediately afterwards, to a loud cheer and round of applause from the onlookers.

loading boats onto thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRound I went to the Square Maurice Marland I went to check on my baby seagull but he seems to have definitively gone now.

Something else that has gone is Normandy Trader. She must have cleared off the moment that the harbour gates opened because there at the loading bay in her place in Thora, the other Jersey freighter.

You might recall seeing in an earlier photo some shrink-wrapped boats on the back of a lorry at the side of the quay. They are now being loaded into Thora ready to go to the Channel Islands.

And Marité is back in port too after her adventures just recently.

market place cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving spent a few minutes looking at the loading, I carried on with my walk.

And there are changes in the Place Cambernon too today. It looks as if a little market of sorts has sprung up in the square. Only a couple of stalls but it’s a start, I suppose. We could do with more like this in the neighbourhood

There is the pizza van of course. That’s here on Thursdays too so it looks like that’s the day for everyone to come to the old town just here. I wonder if the market will expand over time. I hope so.

film crew foyer des jeunes travailleurs place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back I was walking along the elevated section of the walls when I noticed that the filming at the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs had finished.

They were packing up the equipment so I took a photo to show you what was going on.

Back here I started the other course – “building an interactive website”. And unfortunately and depressingly, i crashed out yet again. Another good hour or so on the chair, well away with the fairies.

As a result I didn’t do half as much as I liked, so I’ll have to push on tomorrow as it’s going to be rather a busy day for me

There was the hour on the guitars, followed by tea. A lentil and potato curry out of the freezer followed by apple crumble.

joly france lifeboat port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAfterwards I went out for my run. And I don’t know why because my heart isn’t in it right now.

It’s knowing that I had a collapse in health a couple of weeks ago on the Spirit of Conrad that’s done it. I can feel the difference right now and it isn’t very nice.

But anyway I made it a good way up the hill before I shuddered to a halt, and then walked the remaining 100 metres to the corner. From there I ran on down past the itinerant to the clifftop.

There were a few people around but nothing at all happening so I walked across the lawn to the other side and then ran on down the next leg of my run.

From that rest point I could see that there was something going on at the ferry terminal. Joly France is there of course but the lifeboat is tied up next to it.

It beats me why it would be there. The only thing that I can think of is that it’s been out on a job and missed the tide for going back into the port de plaisance where it lives.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThe next stage to the viewpoint in the rue du Nord I have to do in two legs these days. The strain is definitely getting to me these days, that’s for sure.

At the viewpoint I watched the sun go down, and you have already seen the photos of that. But once more there were the crowds on the beach enjoying the good weather (it was a really nice evening).

Having seen the sun go down, I ran on back to the apartment to write up my notes. And now they are done I’m going to put away last week’s washing that I took off the clothes airer and then go to bed.

It will be a long day tomorrow so I want to be on form for it. I hope that I don’t have another attack of the cramps like last night.

Sunday 5th July 2020 – WITH IT BEING …

… a Sunday and therefore a Day of rest, anyone who thinks that I might have leapt out of bed at 07:30 when I awoke is quite clearly mistaken

09:30 is much more realistic as far as I’m concerned and I’m quite happy with that.

After the meds I had a look at the dictaphone sure enough, I’d been on a few voyages during the night.

There was something going on last night about Space and I’m not sure how or why or where it was but there were three of us – me, a girl and a Welsh guy. Something happened – we’d been in contact with some extra-terrestres (I’m dreaming in French again) and we were all trying to decide what to do. I came up with a few ideas – I couldn’t really remember what they were. This Welsh guy came up with an idea “why don’t I go to deep Space to visit them and talk to them?”. He was a salesman by profession and of vourse being Welsh he knew how to talk so that seemed to be the way forward. We could see if we looked through an inspection hatch that there was a little hole on the side of this planet. That was where he had to aim his spacecraft for. We had to wait until the Americans had a space rocket ready to blast a capsule off into high outer space orbit so that he could contact the extra-terrestres and start selling them things. I thought that this was a really weird thing to be doing.
We were on our boat last night and we came to a place where some of us wanted to get off to go to look at some things. But Strawberry Moose he stayed on board and everyone wondered where he was. I said that he wanted to stay on board and do some things on board. We all got down into our zodiacs but the two girls whom I hoped would come with us stayed on board as well which was disappointing. We finally came ashore in a jungle area where a woman had arranged to meet two people who would be in a bar around the corner. So we went to this bar while everyone else dispersed. There was no sign of these two people at all and we waited for about 10 minutes. In the end we decided to go. Just then this German boy off one of the crossings turned up in the bar and started to talk to us. That was the last thing that we wanted, to end up with him. Before we went in we had to organise our clothes. I had some clothes that wouldn’t go in the washing machine to be washed in the cycle that they had. I was going to do them by hand but the guy in charge of the laundry had this procedure. He had some washing conditioner arranged in a series – a bowl with conditioner, a bowl with clean water, a beaker full of conditioner and another bowl of plain water. He took hold of one of my socks and was pasting this conditioner over it. Normally when I wash my socks I put one over my hand , rub soap into it, put the other sock over the other hand, rub soap into that and rub the two together like I’m washing my hands. He was doing it in a strange way so I thought I’d do it in that way too, watching him and seeing what procedure he was going to use.
There was a group of us in a room in a house later on. The room was really untidy and there was a load of papers and magazines and maps and things. They were all mine and all needed to be tidied up. A couple of girls were helping me, going through the piles and getting them in the right order, unfolding them and laying them flat, merging them together. There were piles of cables, computer and audio cables etc all over the place and they were all arranged in some weird crazy cat’s cradle. While the girls were organising these magazines and I’d done a bit of that I was starting to untangle these cables. One of the girls with black hair and glasses came over and said “I’ve already done that”. I showed here that there was a lot that was still tangled up. She said “just leave it for the moment because we can do that when it’s more convenient”. She started to take down the washing that was hanging up everywhere. We were on a big barge and we had to leave the main waterway to go down some kind of side waterway. It was a very tight turn, almost as if you had to double back on yourself which is no fun when you have a big barge like we had. The girl at the helm up front had to steer this barge round and I knew that she didn’t like doing it here so I said “this is your favourite bend, isn’t it, Judy?”. She didn’t hear me at first so I said it again. She made some kind of grimace. When we got to this waterway it was dry and there were sheep in it. We had to pivot this boat round to get it lined up then get out and drag it up out of the water onto this pathway that was going downhill. The first time we did it the boat ground out. It was in the wrong area and was going to hit the wall so we had to push it back to line it up to start again. I had a feeling that this was not going to be easy having to do this. But somewhere in the middle of all of this was Alan Dean – now when was the last time I ever heard of him? I was at the top of the steps walking down with some swing doors at the bottom. He was down there. It was a case of playing a bass guitar and I was stuck. I wanted to improve and I didn’t know where to go, how to learn, how to change my procedures. I thought that I would look at a few videos on Youtube but that was somewhere stuck in the middle that was.

It was therefore something of a major surprise that I found myself awake so early after that. And even more of a surprise that I kept going all day without a rest.

But let’s not go getting ahead of ourselves here.

It took me long enough to type out all of that, and then there was my Welsh homework. With having missed Tuesday’s lesson I had to do the coursework myself before I could make a start.

So what with one thing and another it was lunchtime by the time it was all done.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I spent a few days a couple of months ago copying all of the files from various hard drives onto the new external drive that I had bought.

The aim was to compare them and delete any duplicate files but for some unknown reason the file duplicate detecting program was having issues.

This afternoon I uninstalled it and reinstalled it but it still wouldn’t work. However eventually I found the reason. Two of the drives are “C” drives out of old computers with the deep BIOS settings on them – the settings that drive the drives. Of course you can’t delete those so when the program detected two identical files in the BIOS settings in two drives it was obliged to pause for thought.

Excluding those files from the compare did the trick, and so the afternoon has been spent mostly dealing with this little project.

bird of prey pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was of course the afternoon walk to deal with, and with it being a Sunday it was the day when I go into town for my weekly ice cream.

But I didn’t go very far before I was interrupted. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’m quite a keen bird watcher and when I was married I had many a lecture on birdwatching from poor Nerina.

Anyway, this bird here was hovering around over the edge of the cliff where the little rabbit colony seems to be. I imagine that it was looking for any errant rabbit babies.

bird of prey pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt’s a bird of prey of some description but whatever it is, I’m none-the-wiser.

My friend Erika thinks that it’s either a white-tailed hawk or a hobby and she certainly has more idea than I do. My bird-identifying is rather like that of a woman identifying a car.

“What kind of car was it, madam?”
“A red one”.

And that’s me with birds too unfortunately

peche a pied port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAs it’s my long Sunday walk I went down the steps at the end of the path and round the headland on the lower level.

Plenty of people milling around there today. The holidays are well under way now. And there were loads of people out there on the rocks this afternoon too. It’s a low tide today and so those who practise the peche à pied are out there in force.

Here’s hoping that they share their catch out with their friends too. After all, one shouldn’t be selfish with one’s shellfish.

fishing boats chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe path carries on around the foot of the cliff and then past the Chantier navale.

A big surprise in there today. It seems that they’ve been busy while I was away, for every berth has some kind of vessel in there undergoing repair. No fewer than six fishing boats, I make it, up on blocks today.

Having been quiet for a while, it’s good to see them so busy. It’ll just be someone’s luck to have a breakdown while there’s no berth available to accommodate them

covid warning notice fish processing plant port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe tide was right out just now as we have seen so I was able to take the short cut across the top of the harbour gates to the other side.

On the way past the Fish processing plant I observed this notice pasted to the door. Briefly, and crudely (and if you want anything crude, then in the words of the late, great Bob Doney “I’m your man!) translated by Yours Truly, there have been several “incidents” at the Fish processing plant that breach the Corona virus precautions.

This notice informs everyone of these breaches and states that if there are any more, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry will take whatever action they consider necessary.

They don’t mess about here. None of your “driving to Barnard Castle” or “going to Greece via Bulgaria” in these situations.

spirit of conrad victor hugo port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOur home from last week is still in port.

Spirit of Conrad is quietly moored where we left her on Friday evening, with the big wheel in the background.

The two Channel island ferries, Victor Hugo and Granville are there in port too. We are told that the ferry service is to start very soon – the 11th July is one date that is freely bandied about.

But the regulations for travelling are extremely severe and I don’t imagine that there will be many takers at the moment.

man fallen out of zodiac baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving observed the shipping in the harbour I walked on round to the end of the wall to see what was going on.

Here was something interesting. There was a zodiac parked up in the water over there and it looked as if there was no-one in it. Enlarging the photo when I returned home, I could see that there was someone in the water right by it.

It was one of those situations where I couldn’t see what he was doing or why he would have been in the water. It’s a shame that I didn’t notice him until it was too late to do any good.

propellor of antwerpen port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThis propellor here from a ship is propped up against the wall of the harbour offices and I must have walked past here 100 times without really noticing it.

It belonged to a small ship of 265 or so tonnes, the Antwerpen. She was a German coaster built in 1917 by the Germans but abandoned in Oostende at the Armistice.

Taken over by the Belgian Navy, she was repossessed by the Germans in 1940 when Belgium fell, and was one of the boats that plied between Granville and the Channel islands taking supplies out there.

In December 1940 in thick fog she was rammed by another vessel in her convoy and sank in shallow water. Demolished finally in 1963, her propellor was found by divers in 1986 and presented to the port office.

bad parking port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOne thing that features quite often in these pages, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, is pathetic parking.

And does parking ever get more pathetic than this? All of these cars are parked without any regard whatsoever for the road markings. It’s totally unbelievable, isn’t it?

Continuing on my walk, I went round onto the quayside to see what was happening, but there was nothing whatever going on there this afternoon.

big wheel place godal granville manche normandy france eric hallThat was probably because the gates were closed and the tide was right out. Not much point in anyone being here right now.

Turning on my heel, i went out to have a look at the big wheel. It’s going round and there are people on it too, although it would be wrong to say that it was actually busy. No clues at all.

And so I pushed on into the rue LeCampion to my little ice cream stall and had the weekly ice cream. I need to keep up with my habits while the summer is here.

steps rue lecampion granville manche normandy france eric hallFor a change I walked back along the rue LeCampion, up the steps at the Rampe du Monte Regret and under the drawbridge into the old town.

The aim of going this way was to see how they were getting on with the replacement of the gas pipe in the rue Lecarpentier.

By the looks of things, they seem to have finished the work. And it looks quite a tidy job too. You’ll hardly notice that all of that has been dug up and subsequently replaced.

yacht english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallUp through the Place Cambernon and through the alley down to the rue du Nord and along the walls to the viewpoint.

There was a yacht out there in the English Channel struggling along in the wind. It’s not a boat that I recognise either and I can’t read a name on her anywhere.

Back here I carried on with my work and at 18:00 knocked off for a play on the guitars for an hour or so.

Later on I had tea. Another home-made pizza that was really delicious. But no pudding tonight as I wasn’t that hungry.

My run this evening was a dismal failure – and for a couple of reasons too.

  1. When I came back in this afternoon I put the camera battery on charge. And when i went out this evening, I forgot to put the battery back in it – so no photos
  2. There’s a gale blowing out here – 75 kph winds. Several of my runs ended abruptly as I turned a corner and ran into a headwind that blew me backwards. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so depressed. Something of a failure, that was

So I’m packed now and I’ll be off on my travels tomorrow. Back to Castle Anthrax. I wonder what plans they have in store for me there.

Thursday 2nd April 2020 – I’VE JUST HAD …

… a very friendly, very interesting and very lengthy conversation with a very nice young girl. She stopped me for a chat while I was out for my evening runs tonight.

We were there for about 10 minutes or so chatting away about all kinds of things.

And do you know what?

I don’t have the first clue who she is.

Something else that I don’t have the first clue about is why I bothered to waste my time by going for an early night. Just for a change, I beat the third alarm out of bed and after the medication I had a look at the dictaphone to see if I’d been anywhere during the night.

I’d started out by doing my best to obey the quarantine but I had to keep on nipping out of my apartment to the room in the attic for something or other. That meant going out into the street and in my the next door and up the stairs. This happened not once, not twice but three or four times and I was sure that someone would cotton on to what was happening. Sure enough, one time I did it, I heard another door bang in the room and heard someone going up the inside stairs, so I stood behind the door and waited. When whoever it was came in, I shouted “BOOH!”and scared them. It was a girl with whom I once worked and she’s someone I haven’t thought about for years. I had a laugh and a joke with her about the situation but I bet that she was being very curious about who was where, for reasons that I suspected were not entirely altruistic. The I was talking to someone else about this and they said “whatever happens, it’s not going to be right for ages and ages yet before the world is back to normal. All kinds of things have been cut off and we can basically forget all about”.
Later on, someone at work was selected for some kind of medical test so he started to prepare himself, saying “yes, I’ll call you when I get there and let you know how things are going on”. My boss recoiled in horror “no, no. Just give us a ring – it will be fine”. he was obviously extremely suspicious about this and I had the feeling that he would have been quite happy if this employee had picked up some kind of infection from one of these medical trials
Moi, je lui proposé que lui, il lui garde et envoyer un audio de son voyage et de contacter avec quelque chose d’intéressant mais il l’a réussi. Le patron lui a accordé raise parce que … Now why am I dictating this in French? I know that I sometimes dream in French (and in Flemish too before now) but this is the first ever time that I’ve dictated my notes in French … so they decided that the risks just weren’t worth the experience of broadcasting like that.
The next voyage was similar to the one just now about the being summoned and going for a walk and sending an audio report and that was rejected too as the story was pretty much the same
Later on we were discussing trains, HS2 and all of this and I’m still convinced that it’s just a white elephant and it’s not going to do anything particular. We had the usual arguments so I wrote a song about travelling from Amsterdam Schiphol airport to Brussels on the TGV. It came to the attention of Alquin and they weren’t sure – should I join Alquin or would they create a band for me and find me a couple of musicians or something like that. In the meantime I’d been collecting some stuff – I’m not quite sure what it was. Quarantine had ended and everyone was out on the streets. There was a big cinema complex and I was walking through it with stuff in my hat. And the thing that I remember was a really really familiar voice said “just leave it up here against the wall, Eric”. I looked round and it was a guitarist who I knew. I can’t think whether it was that Mike Averill or Sherman Downey – someone like that. He said it quite clearly in his voice that I could hear it in my sleep “just leave it here, Eric” and it was the surprise of the realism of the voice and how I heard it that awoke me
I was in a office last night working and the place was in a total tip as you might expect. There was a girl sitting next to me at my desk. She was going through all my papers and there was a load of stuff I didn’t want her to see because it was quite personal. I asked her what she was doing and she replied that she was looking for a file or a letter. I asked which one and she told me that it was in connection with an accident that I had had with a Woolworths van or lorry 18 months ago. She was going some kind of survey on it. She said “I thought that would be in the International file”. I said “no, for if it involved two people of the same nation it would be in the national, not the international one” so I had to go and fetch the file. There were papers everywhere in a big bundle and I thought that i would come back to sort these out. Then I got to thinking that I’m not going to be able to cope with all of this. I’ve probably had enough. I decided more-or-less on the spot that I was going to retire. It was only 2 days to the end of the month so I thought that at the end of the month I would retire and that would be that.

So after all of that, it’s pretty pointless going to bed early, isn’t it?

But as an aside, looking at where I’ve been during the last couple of nights, anyone would think that I had something of a preoccupation with this virus that’s going round. But that’s not the case at all.

It’s true to say that I’m being more careful than I otherwise would be, but I’m not taking this situation as intently or as keenly as some others, that’s for sure. Being engaged in a life-or-death struggle with the illness that I have, this virus thing is just another complication to add to an already-complicated tangle of affairs.

After breakfast I had a go at a couple of albums – tracking down the digital sound files and sorting them out.

And then, after a shower (the first for a few days) I headed out to town.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn my way out of the medieval walled city I stopped to have a look over the wall to see what was going on, as I had heard the crane in operation.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw Normandy Trader here in port the other day. And here she is, unloading another pile of what looks like shellfish and taking on board a load of timber as a return load to the Channel islands.

It was another quick turn-round too. When I went out in the evening, she was long-gone. She clearly doesn’t want to hang around with these current health issues going on.

repointing stonework rampe du monte a regret granville manche normandy france eric hallMy route into town took me down the Rampe du Monte A Regret

Over the past few months I’ve been seeing workmen there ripping out the vegetation that’s been growing in the cracks between the stones, but today I noticed that they’ve been repointing the joints.

This will look quite nice when it’s all done, but I wish that they would spend more of their time dealing with the bits of wall that are actually falling down.

We’ve seen plenty of those just recently.

As I was going past the laboratory, I called in to see where they had got to with my blood test results. They’d completed the examinations and had posted the results, but of course the post is somewhat sporadic these days.

They gave me a copy so I could review it at my leisure. My blood count is at 9.3, which is quite a surprise to most people because when I last had treatment – two months ago, it was 8.8.

We’ve seen in the past that the results from the hospital and the results from the laboratory differ considerably, and nothing seems to have changed right now. I know that the blood count can fluctuate, but surely not by this much.

There weren’t too many people in LIDL this morning so we didn’t have to queue outside. They didn’t seem to be short of very much at all (except pizza bases – I wonder why there’s a run on those right now) so I did what I needed, as well as buying a metre rule with spirit level and a few other accessories. A baguette too, seeing as my favourite boulanger is still closed.

Back here there was time to deal witha couple more albums before lunch, and also 20 or so photos from July 2019. Dynjandi and the Arnarfjördu were the places for which I was trying to remember the names yesterday.

After lunch I finished off the notes for the two radio projects on which i’m working, dictated them, and started on the editing.

To my chagrin I could have made much more progress than I did, but

  1. I was in discussion for some of the time with Laurent about our Grande Marée Virtuelle – I have some lines to learn
  2. I … errr … went off with the fairies for a good half-hour. And a proper one too – hardly surprising after my last couple of nights but disappointing all the same.

There was the usual hour on the guitars and then I stopped for tea. A slice of that tofu and lentil pie from February with jacket potates, veg and gravy.

While it was cooking in the oven, I sorted out all of the carrots that I had bought on Saturday, washed scrubbed, diced and then blanched them

By this time my tea was ready. And it was followed by a slice of apple pie with vegan ice cream and chocolate sauce. Thoroughly delicious.

sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallOut on my walk this evening, I missed the sunset.

The sky was a beautiful red though, so I suppose that it’s better than nothing. And while I was admiring it was when I was accosted by the aforementioned young lady.

Bad news when I had my shower this morning. I seemed to have gained 800 grams since the weekend and that’s no good at all. As a consequence I put in no fewer than four runs tonight. I have to get things under control

Another thing that I need to do is to have a good sleep. It won’t be as long as last night’s, unfortunately, but it will still do me good.

But I wonder where I’ll finish up tonight?

Wednesday 8th January 2020 – I WAS RIGHT …

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall… once more yesterday.

This time it was about those shellfish containers or whatever they were in the port last night and I said that this may well indicate a visit from Normandy Trader in the very near future.

So here we are, bang on cue yet again. The aforementioned has indeed arrived in Granville and is tied up over there by the old cold store from when this port used to be a thriving deep-sea fisheries place.

Something else that I may well have been right about, although I probably didn’t express very much about it, is that i’m not now going to Leuven tomorrow. This afternoon I had a message from the SNCF saying that my train from Granville wasn’t going.

As it happens, I’d had an earlier telephone call from the hospital asking if I could postpone my visit as they would be overloaded with chemotherapy patients. Consequently I didn’t even bother to look for alternative transport. I changed the date of my appointment to two weeks hence (as for why, you’ll find out soon enough) and rebooked my accommodation. I’ll go to the station tomorrow on my way to LIDL and change my tickets.

Last night was another relatively early night (well, early for just recently anyway) but even so, it was about 07:00 when I finally crawled out of my stinking pit.

After the medication I had a bash at the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night, and hello! again to Pollux. It’s been a while since you’ve been around. Here she was all on her own. I was doing some kind of Shakespearean drama and she was appearing in it. It was the scene where she was dragged away right near the end. Wr were discussing this and it turned out that she had been on the beach that time that we were having the Rock Festival thing and she’s tried some of my orange-flavoured water. We were getting her to talk about it and then she started to talk about other things, skateboarding, roller skating and so on. All the kids these days went onto the old railway land round by where the old BR Parcels depot was in Crewe, all round there. I explained to her that that was dangerous. It’s BR Parcels and they can be quite nasty. I was thinking that she might have been playing on the old railway land at the back of the Permanent Way Club, but it was definitely there. She was agreeing with me “yes, it was a terrible thing doing all of that” and she was telling me about the time what they did and she had a boyfriend that took her down there for the very first time. Only a couple of days ago this boyfriend had taken her down there. He was showing her a few things and she said she didn’t – she was saying that she was having the frissons about it and how she wished she was somewhere else

What is interesting about this is not so much the journey itself but the fact that I was dictating it using a French word. I know that I’ve dreamt in Fench before but I don’t recall ever using that language in the dictation.

After breakfast, surviving a power cut that delayed my start for a while, I set to work on the football trip that I did on Saturday last.

It’s very slow going, but it’s rather like a snowball in that it starts ff slowly and gets bigger quite quickly. What I’ve had to do is to go through all of the interviews, chop them into little segments and then stick them together – in the sense that you ask 20 people 20 questions, you need to extract all of the answers to Question 1 and stick them together, and then Question 2 etc. You get the picture.

It’s different to the one we did about the Bain des Manchots because there we were working to a timeline and we wanted it to run at a fast pace.

That’s taken me all day, with a couple of pauses here and there. Phone calls not being the least of them.

There was the usual morning trip down to La Mie Caline for my dejeunette but once again I was side-tracked.

trawler beached port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallIn the past I’ve talked about careening as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. That’s the process of using the tide to deliberately lay a ship on its side so that you can repair the hill or the bottom.

That’s quite a well-know procedure of course, but this is something else completely although I doubt if it’s as effective.

By the looks of things they are inspecting the rudder or propellor and fixing that is not a job that I would like to undertake in a situation like that.

la grande ancre port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith the tide being out, I could walk over the path at the top of the gates, but there was no-one about on Normandy Trader to talk to.

You are probably wondering why Normandy Trader wasn’t moored at her usual place. The answer is that La Grande Ancre is in the place underneath the crane. To be fair though, it looked as if Normandy Trader was fully-loaded, and was simply waiting for the gates to open.

And I must admit to admiring the matching colour scheme of the lorry attending to La Grande Ancre.

dismantling ski slope place Générale de Gaulle granville manche normandy france eric hallAt La Mie Caline I picked up my dejeunette and then went for a look to see what was going on at the place Générale de Gaulle.

Our famous ski slope didn’t last all that long. They are busy dismantling it and that was a shame.

And the story going around the town is that two of the beavers or whatever they were on there have “gone missing”. They’ve probably gone off with the penguin that went missing from there a couple of years ago.

Lunch was an interruption of course, and so was bottling my home-made orange and ginger drink and setting another one off on the way.

normandy trader english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was the afternoon walk too, and that was interesting because the fog had now closed right in.

And I was right yet again about Normandy Trader. She was indeed ready to depart from the harbour because here she is, setting out into the English Channel.

And as I have said before … “and you’ll say again #34; – ed … my hat goes off to the sailors who spend most of their life confronting all kinds of difficulties that we landlubbers wouldn’t even consider.

trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut as one goes out, another one come in.

Here’s one of the trawler-type of fishing boats coming into port, and the presence of seagulls flying around in the vicinity suggests to me that it has a good catch on board.

With there being no-one around in the square Maurice Marland I took the opportunity to have an afternoon run.

And my health is definitely in a downward spiral right now because I knew all about this one.

Back here I had another little … errr … relax, something that is annoying me intensely these days after I went for several weeks feeling almost normal

Tea was some more falafel with veg and vegan cheese sauce followed by Christmas cake of course, and then my walk outside.

The fog has lifted slightly but I was still the only person out there. I managed a run too although I felt most unlike it. But regardless of how I feel, I have to push on forwards.

Tonight’s notes are now finished but as Runrig have now come up on the playlist I’ll be awake for another 43 minutes or so.

Perhaps I ought to do some more week.