Tag Archives: Festival des Voiles de Travail

Saturday 27th August 2022 – I CAN’T REMEMBER …

… the last time that it was as quiet as it was today on the path overlooking the port.

Maybe yesterday, with all of the painters and everything, was exceptional, I dunno, but today there was hardly anyone about at all round there.

wet pavement boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Mind you, that did actually have its own advantages.

During the night we must have had a really heavy rainstorm because you can see just how wet the path is there. That’s the bit that usually floods in the heavy rain so considering that we’ve had no rain to speak of in an age, it must have been something impressive last night.

And you can see the vegetation here. It’s turned a lot more green just overnight. Things must be looking up and if we aren’t careful, we might have our lawn back.

And while we’re on the subject of “during the night” … “well, one of us is” – ed … I actually had quite a disturbed night.

And not just during the night either. I sat up bolt-upright 10 minutes before the alarm was due to go off, to find myself once again dictating notes into my hand. How many times must I have done that?

Nevertheless I grabbed the dictaphone and dictated what I could remember The milk was rather late being delivered so they sent some elderly guy round to check and to go to see his way into the attic. And it was at that moment that I awoke and whatever else was going on just evaporated,

Not a success.

Regardless of that it was still a struggle to fight my way out of bed and take my medicine. And then in an effort to liven myself up, I had an energy drink and then a shower.

It’s shopping day today, not that I need all that much, but I set the washing machine off just to finally at long last empty to linen basket and then we went to the shops.

There wasn’t much that I needed so I didn’t buy much. It still came to €24:00 though, mainly due to the big bag of peaches and the vegan spread and I was back home by 10:05.

But i’m beginning to notice another problem – and that is that it’s a long way up into Caliburn and I’m struggling to make it. That’s ominous.

Back here, armed with a coffee and some toast, I had a listen to the rest of the dictaphone notes, of which there were more than just a few. Someone came to the door of the house where I was at that particular moment. He walked in, saw me and someone else there and asked for “Professor (so-and-so)”. For some unknown reason I went white and began to shake. The person I was with said that he was Detective-Sergeant (someone-or-other) and was here to make a few enquiries. Before he could continue I asked wht=at this was all about so they explained that the professor had been murdered some time previously which caused an enormous amount of upset. At least I discovered that it wasn’t me whom the person was after.

And later I had a train to catch in London at 22:15 and was coming back again early in the morning. I’d been camping so I had to pick up everything and prepare to leave. When it was time to leave I looked around for everything and couldn’t find my bumbag anywhere. I had a good hunt round but couldn’t find it. In the end I decided that I’d have to go without it. I tied my tent to the bottom of my sleeping back, stuck my parasol in the sleeping bag, hoped that my bumbag was in there. I had to walk somewhere to say goodbye, forgot my sleeping bag, walked back, picked it up, got into the car, drove into Crewe. It never occurred to me until far too late that I should have gone to a suburban railway station in a village somewhere and caught a train to Crewe and could have left my car there. When I arrived in Crewe I was too far away from my house to park there so I had to look for a parking space. There wasn’t any in the public highway. In the end I found myself thinking “how much will it cost to use the British Rail car park by the station for 10 hours or whatever. It’s only going to be expensive if I’ve lost my bumbag. If I have to start paying for parking it’s going to be the end of the world

I’d just gone into a restaurant to have some salad sandwiches. Although the place wasn’t crowded the 2 people behind the counter were working like demons. One of my friends from Germany was there and someone else. The someone else was making the sandwiches and my friend was waiting on table and waiting at the counter and also making some sandwiches. I stood there while they were all busy running around. They’d smiled at me but they hadn’t otherwise said “hello”. I thought to myself that this is taking much longer than it ought to fetch me something to eat. There was a dispute about someone – they thought that they’d organised the wrong meal but my friend was adamant that they hadn’t. Someone had set the toaster too high and burnt a lot of the sandwiches. I was beginning to think at the end of the day that I was invisible because no-one took any notice of me at all.

My niece was pregnant last night too. She’d come round for something and had gone off to the corner shop on the corner of Brookhouse Drive and Davenport Avenue (which there isn’t). In the meantime I’d had to nip out to do something so I went off in my red Cortina. It took much longer than I thought. By the time that I returned my niece was sitting in her car on the car park looking extremely miserable so I have her what it was that I had, parked my car and went back to our flat. I found that I was even so late that everyone had already started to deliberately eat it as well. THis was incredibly late as well, I don’t know why everything had taken so long but it wasn’t supposed to be anything like this at all

With not being in any great rush that took me up until my lunchtime fruit. And one of the peaches is bruised already. I can’t seem to keep fruit very long here and I don’t know why.

And afterwards I paired off all of the music. Only 8 tracks because one of them goes on for almost 22 minutes. I always had a secret admiration for Graham Bond’s Holy Magick.

It took far longer that it ought to have done as well because there were small gaps in the recording at regular intervals, as if the tape had been nicked by something sharp that had gone right through. You’ve no idea how many nicks there can be in 22 minutes of recording and I had to patch each one.

The opening is a very good opening too and I like good openings when they can run underneath my opening speech (which lasts for 13.555 seconds) but as this one wasn’t long enough for that, I looped a segment 8 times and it kept the beat all the way through my extended opening.

As well as that, I had to change a track because one that I had chosen was much more suitable as a programme opener. I don’t have too many of those so I don’t want to waste them.

All in all, I’m glad that I did that this afternoon instead of trying to do it on a Sunday when I don’t really feel like it.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022That took me more-or-less up to the time to go for my afternoon walk around the headland.

And once more, I was surprised to see so few people down there. They had plenty of beach to be on but for some reason everyone had deserted the sand.

Many of those down there had made it into the water which was no surprise because regardless of what might or might not have happened during the night, we were back to summer again today and it was hot.

Just the day, in fact, when you would expect to see a lot of people.

medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Down at the Plat Gousset it was pretty much the same, although I was intrigued by the guy in suit trousers, shirt and tie. What was he doing down there on his own dressed like that?

But you can see how the medieval fish trap works. As the tide goes out, some water is retained in the trap and that’s where you’ll find the fish that have come in with the tide but been stranded when the tide has gone out.

This would be the time when all of the fishwives would wade in and start to pull out the fish by hand. And that evening, everyone would have a fish supper.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual, while I’m here I’m also having a good look out at sea.

In the Baie de Granville there was hardly any water craft today. Just recently we’ve seen hordes of craft but it seems that they are all having a day off today. These three yachts and probably a handful of other boats were all that I could see.

Mind you, the weather was quite hazy today in patches and while some of Jersey was visible from up here, the rest of the island that we could normally wasn’t clear.

The ile de Chausey was quite visible and I had a little smile to myself listening to some British guy telling his friends that it was the Plateau des Minquiers which are just off Jersey to the south.

sailing ship english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Further out in the English Channel there was something of interest going on.

There’s another sailing ship right out there again today.

Marité is out at sea but she’s currently behind the Ile de Chausey so I don’t think that it’s her and I’m not sure who else it might be.

La Cancalaise hasn’t been out that way today either, but a couple of other suitable candidates might be Etoile du Roy although that’s unlikely, and Le Renard who was out there in that direction somewhere.

It’s not easy using the radar on my mobile phone and when I return home to look on the computer, all of the ships have changed position so I have to estimate their position at the time from their historical track.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Down at the end of the headland there wasn’t an awful lot going on today so I wandered off across the car park to see what was happening down on the rocks.

We had another fisherman down there this afternoon and I do have to say that I was impressed by his tackle. he had a nice big aluminium box strapped to his back but the way things are around here, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was for a seat rather than to store his catch.

There wasn’t anyone sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban this afternoon. Judging by what happened yesterday, they must have heard me coming and cleared off before I arrived.

Not that I blame them either.

festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Walking down past the sodden part of the path I could see what was happening at the Festival of Working Sailing Ships.

There doesn’t look as if there are all that many people there today either compared to how many there were earlier in the week.

One reason for the comparative lack of people around today is that we’re coming close to the end of the holiday season. Many people will have packed up and gone home this morning, I suppose.

Nevertheless, there would surely still be plenty of people living not too far away who would want to come away for the weekend and see the sights.

la granvillaise marie fernand rowing boats l'alize 3 festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The mystery ship that we saw just now, I can tell you who she isn’t.

It can’t be La Granvillaise because she’s down there giving tourists a lap around the harbour for whatever the local equivalent of half a crown might be. And without her tender either. Let’s hope that she doesn’t need it.

And if you can’t afford the half-crown, you can row your own in one of the rowing boats that are wandering around there. Plenty of opportunity for doing something with a pair of oars.

Up against the wall at the back is of course Marie Fernand and the trawler in the foreground is Alize III

philcathane chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Further along the quayside are the trawler Philcathane and the little freighter Chausiaise. Of course there will be no loading up of freight while the Festival is taking place.

But one ship that isn’t there right now is Victor Hugo and I don’t need to consult her itit .. init … tinit … itninnin .. timetable either to tell you where she might be. As I was on my way to the shops this morning I saw her loading up at the Ferry Terminal presumably for a trip out to Jersey.

And as for me, I’m not there right now either. I came back to the apartment for a drink of ice-cold ginger beer. Shop-bought from a while back. And I reckon that I ought to start my drinks-manufacturing again. But in the bathtub in cas eof any unwelcome explosions.

It was a shame about my TV

No football this evening but there were extended highlights of a game last night in the second tier between Ynyshir Albion and Llanelli. I remember Llanelli from their time in the Welsh Premier League but I’ve never seen Ynyshir so I reckoned that that was a good way to relax.

You can’t tell much from highlights of course but Ynyshir looked the better side, even if they couldn’t make their way past Scott Coughlin, who I remember from Afan Lido, in the Llanelli goal who had a good game. Llanelli scored a goal early on and then rode their luck to the final whistle.

Tea was steamed potato, veg and a breaded quorn fillet and as usual it was delicious. I’ll go back to LIDL at some point and look for more of those.

A day off tomorrow with it being Sunday, and no work to do because I’ve done it all already. I’ll have a few more days like that. I’m going to bed early, no alarm, and have a good sleep so I’ll be fighting fit for tomorrow.

And pigs will fly as well.

Friday 26th August 2022 – DOESN’T CAP LIHOU

cap lihou chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022… look smart?

One thing about the chantier naval is that they don’t mess about. When they repaint a trawler they slap it on good and thick.

There have been several trawlers that have gone in there looking like drab caterpillars and come out like gorgeous shining butterflies and it looks as if Cap Lihou is going to be the latest in a long line.

It’s a far cry away from how she was looking A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO when they started grinding off the old paintwork

Not quite a far cry away from how I was a couple of weeks ago but how many days now is it that I’ve gone without crashing out?

Having mentioned it now is rather like tempting fate but a run of several days of keeping going is worthy of note all the same.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022So while you admire a few photos of the Nazguls that flew by overhead, I’ll tell you about another busy day today.

Once more we started off with a struggle for me to leave my bed just after the alarm went off. I beat the second alarm to my feet although not by much, and then I went off in search of the medication.

Back in here, once I’d gathered my wits (which takes me far longer than it ought, seeing how few I have these days) I had a little listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

As you’ll hear in a moment, I knew that there was some stuff on there because I was awake when I dictated it. But there was some other stuff on there too.

hang gliders pointe de lude Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Someone tried to smuggle a woman onto a camp last night. It was a man probably in his 50s respectably dressed with a top hat, rather like a circus ringmaster trying to bring in a woman. But the people on the camp were discussing the football, how Rhyl had risen from the ashes and made it to the Welsh Cup Final where they’d been playing Newport and had a 1-1 draw at the end of 90 minutes and how we were going to see 30 minutes of extra time, and hats off to rhyl if they manage to pull it off from their position down in the flames a couple of years ago.

And Rhyl have done that too. A few seasons ago the owner closed down the club and abandoned it. A group of fans reformed a shadow club from nothing and with grit and determination, and a series of successive promotions, have now hauled themselves up into the third tier of Welsh football.

Bangor City have done exactly the same thing, by the way and are also in the same third tier league after successive promotions. It’ll be an interesting season with the two of them slugging it out for just the one promotion spot to the second tier

There was then something in the local newspaper about how some newspaper or other was going to take this expensive car for a drive if they could obtain permission from the maid of this particular family.

When the alarm went off, I was likewise in the middle of a dream so I dictated it as soon as I awoke, hence knowing that there was stuff on there. There had been me, a girl and a few other people. She was talking about her past and how at one time she had a menagerie of animals but there were only 2 that she loved. The others she liked but just the 2 that she loved and she only had special hugs off those. She was so disappointed about that that I gave her a hug and said something like “I’m sure that they all liked you”. She replied “yes” but she was talking about something different. But this was a long dream that went on for ages, interrupted by the alarm. As soon as it went off I forgot almostt everything off it.

Once I’d settled down, I made a start on things that needed doing and now all of the entries for when I was on my travels around Leuven ARE ONLINE for you to peruse at your leisure.

There were plenty of interruptions too. Breakfast of course, and Rosemary telephoned me again. She’d forgotten to tell me something yesterday that was quite important so we had another one of our marathon chats and then I had work to do

While I was at it, it reminded me that there was something else that I needed to do. As it doesn’t seem as if I’m going anywhere in the near future and as you lot seem to think that I ought to get out more, I put some steps in motion.

And lunch as well. Mustn’t forget my fruit.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And the afternoon walk, which meant dodging the low-flying Nazguls while I nipped across the car park to have a look at the beach.

The fact that there were plenty of Nazguls out today wil tell you what the weather was like. Clear and quite windy. And that had affected the numbers of people down at the beach.

With the Festival of Working Sailing Ships being a much better attraction, everyone had presumably gone off over there this afternoon leaving just the hard-core sunbathers taking the waters.

And “taking the waters” they were as well by the looks of things.

While I was checking on the beach I was looking around out at sea at the same time.

sailing ship english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There wasn’t anything special in the immediate vicinity but out in the distance in the English Channel behind the Ile de Chausey there was something exciting that looked like a large sailing ship.

With the idea of checking it over when I returned home, I photographed it And having enlarged the photo and enhanced it back here, I’m still none-the-wiser. I’m not even better-informed.

There were dozens of sailing ships of all different sizes out there according to the radar, and amongst them were La Cancalaise and Le Renard, either of whom might fit the bill. You’ll have to make up tour own mind.

It wasn’t just the Nazguls overhead that were taking advantage of the weather up in the air this afternoon.

f-gicp Piper PA-28RT-201T baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022

While I was walking down the path towards the end of the healdand I was overlown by a light aircraft coming from the direction of the airfield.

Her registration number is clearly visible as F-GICP and that tells me that she’s a Piper PA-28RT-201T

It’s one that I can’t recall having seen before. She first appeared on the radar at 09:40 this morning somewhere just to the west of Paris and then disappeared off the radar somewhere between Vire and Villedieu les Poeles

Since then she’s been flying around Western France only being picked up intermittently on radar and as far as I can tell, she hasn’t stayed anywhere for too long. She’s not recorded at the airfield here .

f-guxf F-GUXF - Robin DR 400-120 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Another mystery aeroplane went flying by overhead almost immediately afterwards.

She’s F-GUXF and that information tells me that she’s a Robin DR 400-120. She’s owned by the Aeo Club at Caen and for that reaosn I think that we might have seen her before.

What she’s doing though I can’t say. I now have access to the flight records at Granville, Avranches and Caen and she isn’t featured on any of them and she wasn’t picked up on radar either.

Mind you, according to the list of old German World-War II airfields that I found, there are quite a few around here that even though they might no longer be in use, something could be happening there

group of dancers pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While we’re on the subject of mysteries … “well, one of us is” – ed … what’s happening here is a mystery too.

There are about twelve people and one group leader or monitor, and they are all standing round in a circle whilst the leader demonstrates some kind of dance move that they all repeat. I’m half-expecting them next to all join hands and dance around in a fairy ring.

This is something else that it is better not to know too much about I suppose and is somewhat similar to the Conservative Party annual conference where all of the attendees gather round, hold hands and try to contact the living.

green grass around base of war memorial pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022This though is quite interesting and extremely topical.

We’ve had very little rain for a couple of months and it’s like a desert here. What has fallen has been absorbed straight into the bone-dry soil and you wouldn’t notice it.

Where the rain has fallen on concrete the water has slowly run off and that is why the grass and plants at the very edge of the concrete look so much better – that they have had the benefit of all of the run-off water.

It’s a similar situation in the High Arctic. There’s always a more luxurious plant growth around the bases of big stones.

That’s not simply because of the run-off of water either but also because the birds perch on the rocks and their droppings are washed off in the rainwater so it’s extremely nutritious for a plant.

fishermen pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There were quite a few people loitering around on the car park so I had to fight my way through to the end of the headland.

And having a look down onto the rocks there was just one fisherman today. However he must have seen me coming because as soon as I arrived he picked up his equipment and began to move away.

It’s the same kind of effect that I seem to have on most people. As soon as they see me coming they pack up and clear off rather smartish-like.

Maybe I should change my deodorant.

cabanon vauban people leaving pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And I’m not joking either.

There were also a few people sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban but as soon as they saw me coming they cleared off too and headed for the hills.

Mind you I don’t know what they were doing down there because there was absolutely nothing to see out at sea today.

There was someone next to me showing off to his friends pointing out the sights, telling people that Cancale was St Malo and stuff like that. I was half-inclined to correct him but I didn’t want to start a fight.

vapour trail pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And so instead I cleared off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

It was a really strange day today though. Plenty of wind down below but up in the upper atmosphere ther emust have been no wind whatsoever. Just look at this beautiful vapour trail left behind by a high-flying jet airliner.

Uusually there are some very strong air currents up there and vapour trails don’t usually last long before they are shredded by the wind. But this one was there for ages and was one of the most beautiful that I have seen.

painters boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022This wasn’t anywhere like so beautiful.

At the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval we had a group of artists painting the scene. One of them – she on the far right, had set up her chair right in the middle of the path completely blocking it and the only way round was to walk on the lawn.

When I reached there I asked “is it OK to pass?” because her tutor was blocking the rest of the way round. “Ohh there’s plenty of room” she replied.

With youths and kids there’s a certain level of incivility because of poor – or even absent – parenting but there is really no excuse whatsoever for incivility from people of my age

festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Before I went back home I had a look down at the Festival to see how things were doing.

Marité wasn’t there. She was out at the Ile de Chausey. But the crowds were. They were having a right old time down there. You might say that this Festival is a success.

Back here I finished off the chocolate milk and finished off the blog entries from my leuven trip.

Tea was a quick tea of sausage, beans and chips (done to perfection in the air fryer) because there was football on the internet, Y Bala v Y Drenewydd.

Both teams qualified for Europe last season but so far they have been well off the pace. Y Drenewydd played really well up until the final 10 yards in front of goal where they just couldn’t find the killer touch. I felt sorry for Louis Robles who is supposed to be a striker but spent most of the time out on the wing going to collect the ball.

Y Bala weren’t any better but the contrast was that they had the killer touch and a 3-0 victory for them was a great exaggeration. Still, that’s what counts in the end – getting the ball into the net.

Having said that though, there’s obviously a new definition this season as to what is and what isn’t a foul. From wat I saw, a blatant push in the back is considered to be fair game. If I’d seen it missed once I’d have shrugged it off but to see it four or five times, including in the build-up to two of the goals, makes me wonder what is going on.

So now I’m off to bed. A good night I hope, and then a shopping trip in the morning. I’m not expecting to go another day without crashing out but I’ll do my best. I have plenty of stuff to do anyway and just because I’ve dealy with one lot of arrears doesn’t mean that I can relax.

There are still another 99 to go.

Thursday 25th August 2022 – I HAVE BEEN …

… out and about this afternoon, just for a change. And the days when my whole existence can be uplifted into headline news because I’ve actually been into the town centre shows you what’s going on in my life right now.

With a cheque to pay in, some magnesium tablets to buy and a load of ships in port, it seemed like a good plan.

Yesterday’s highlight, which I didn’t mention for fear of overwhelming you all with excitement, was going to the bins to take out the rubbish. It needed something really riveting to surpass that, didn’t it?

Only a few minutes late going to bed, and for a change I had a reasonable night. Mind you, once again it was a struggle to my feet this morning.

After the meds I attacked the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. A bill came through for £170 and I wanted to pay it so I took my credit card and rang up the people concerned ready to pay it over the phone. After being shunted around half a dozen departments I was told that there was another procedure to follow. They explained the procedure to me which I didn’t quite understand but I had a go and the payment failed. I rang them back to explain to them. They explained another procedure which again failed. I was there for about three days trying to speak to all kinds of different people. Eventually they said that they had taken the payment with the credit card over the phone. I asked for confirmation so they put me through to the accounts department to make sure. When I spoke to her and told her about this she replied “you have to pay it”. I retorted “I’ve just paid it”. She asked “have you?” in an air of totally disbelieving tone. I replied “yes” so she said that I’d have to speak to someone in Accounts. I said “I just have done. It was they who just passed me through to you”. I had a feeling that with this money we were just going to be going round and round in a circle and end up nowhere at all. This was taking place while I was in the hospital. I had people in the ward with me so it was really extremely uncomfortable as well.

Afterwards I was in bed but awoke to hear some laughing. The ‘phone went and I couldn’t hear one side of the conversation but the other one was something like “yes, we’re all up and preparing to leave but Eric is still in bed”. I stood up quickly, grabbed my clothes, all my money fell out of my jeans, put on my clothes, kept on having my feet stuck in the legs of my trousers, generally trying to organise myself quickly because they’ll be taking down this tent in a minute. It seemed to me that the quicker I tried to do things, the longer it was actually taking me. I thought that I’d never have enough time to do this and collect my things together before they wanted to pull down this tent.

There was an interruption though in mid-transcribe, and an embarrassing interruption at that.

Yesterday with not feeling so bright and being rather tired, I hadn’t tidied anything up and the place was looking like a total tip. And, of course, I’d completely forgotten about the nurse. She turned up to find me in total chaos and not as clean as I would otherwise have liked the place to have been.

She struggled to find a clean and clear place to put the paper while she wrote out her notes and while she’s a cheerful sort, she clearly wasn’t happy.

All in all, it was rather an shameful situation.

It’s not going to improve very much either because the next time that she’ll be coming to inject me is in 10 days time on a Sunday morning and you all know what I’m like early on a Sunday morning.

After she left I carried on transcribing the notes and almost as soon as I’d finished, Rosemary called me. I’m convinced that when she was here she must have concealed a camera somewhere because she seems to know the precise moment to phone me.

When Rosemary and I finished our chat I started on what was left of the dictaphone notes from my trip around Central Europe and in a mad fit of enthusiasm and energy (don’t ask me where that came from)I completed them all. So that’s another good job completed.

In fact, it took me longer than I was expecting the pause for my lunchtime fruit notwithstanding.

fish processing plant festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Because of the position of the tide, I wanted to go out for my walk earlier than usual this afternoon.

As usual when I’m heading into town my point of reference for checking the camera is the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

There wasn’t anyone down there at the Fish Processing Plant this afternoon. Gerlean who sometimes ties up there was in the inner harbour and I couldn’t see L’Omerta, the other boat that loiters around there usually.

Plenty of boxes on the quayside though so they must be expecting a load of traffic.

sailing boats rowing boat festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022In fact you can see Gerlean down there right now tied up to a pontoon.

What you can’t see though is Victor Hugo. Gone! And never called me “mother”!

Believe it or not, I can tell you exactly where she ought to be right now without even looking at the radar. She should be back at her berth. She left home at 09:30 for Jersey and left there at 18:30 to return home.

It reminds me of Frankie Howerd when during one of his TV programmes he turned to the audience and asked “how do I know? Well, I have read the script”

While I was over there I picked up a timetable from the ferry terminal so I now know her agenda. It’s all bad news as far as I can see because the season of sailings is so intermittent that there’s no possibility of my going over there for a convenient three-or four-day break as I was hoping.

Going down all of the steps to the Rue du Port was mush more difficult than I imagined. I’m definitely losing my mobility. I then crossed the road and went over along the side of the Fish Processing Plant towards the harbour gates.

la granvillaise marie fernand grain de sail le loup rouge festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The boat that we haven’t seen before on the extreme right is called Le Loup Rouge. She was built in 1962 and has a very interesting history as she was designed by John Illingworth and Angus Primrose as a racing yacht.

She actually won the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s championship that year. Now though, she lives a more sedate life in Cherbourg just going to regattas and exhibitions.

Of course, over there we have on the extreme left La Granvillaise and next to her is Marie Fernand. We are, for the moment anyway, much more interested in the other boat, Grain de Sail

grain de sail festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travailport de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Her claim to fame is that she’s a commercial sailing boat that is powered (almost) exclusively by wind. There’s a small diesel engine on board but that’s just for manoeuvring, so we are told.

But while a uniquely wind-powered boat is nothing unusual, what is unusual about her is that she has a carrying capacity of 50 tonnes and twice a year goes over on a triangular voyage from Europe to New York with local French produce for the American market, and then down to the Caribbean and finally back to Europe.

Not that two voyages per year of 50 tonnes is going to contribute much to the environment, but it’s all to prove a point. And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, when I lived in the Auvergne I did much more than that and for a much longer period to prove a point.

le roc a la mauve 3 festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022My was timed to perfection as the harbour gates were closed so I could walk over the top to the other side.

As I did so, the first of the shell-fishing boats came in to unload at the fish processing plant. This one is Le Roc à la Mauve whom we saw for a lengthy period in the chantier naval.

Towing her little lighter behind her, she chugged into port with a respectable load of shellfish on board. The guy back there at the HIAB was repositioning the boxes, presumably for ease of unloading.

That’s not the kind of thing that you would do out in the open sea. There have been maritime disasters too numerous to mention where the load in a boat has suddenly shifted or been shifted and caused the boat to capsize with all hands. There was one like that in North Wales not so long ago.

grain de sail festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Once I was on the other side of the harbour I went down to Grain de Sail.

There was a member of the crew on board so I button-holed him. His ship is only a four-berth and as it needs four hands to sail it, it doesn’t take passengers on its transatlantic jaunts.
“What about if you only have three crew members and are in need of a fourth?”
“Do you have a “Marine Marchand” – a Merchant Navy certificate?”
“Regrettably not”
“Then I’m afraid that you wouldn’t be considered.”

And so that was that. At least I tried

Instead I admired the arrays of solar panels and the two wind turbines. They also have some hydro-generators too but I bet that they slow down the boat.

Next stop was the ferry terminal where I picked up a brochure for Victor Hugo. And my enquiries told me that Ukrainian refugees going for a day out to Jersey need a UK visa all the same.

kiddies pirate ship festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022With things to do in the town I headed that way along the side of the quay.

One thing that I like about France is that they are much more child-friendly than the UK and so I was expecting to see much more for the kids than you would see at a festival across the channel.

And I wasn’t wrong either. You can’t have a Festival of sailing ships without having a pirate ship, complete with pirates and buccaneers to chase the kids and press-gang them into service on board.

Even STRAWBERRY MOOSE has experienced life as an active buccaneer, as regular readers of this rubbish WILL RECALL

In fact, looking for that photo made me all nostalgic. That was an excellent road trip, one of the very best, when I started off in the far north of Labrador and three weeks later I was at Rhys’s in South Carolina.

Housman summed it up completely with his
” That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

kiddies pirate ship festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Meanwhile, retournons à nos moutons as they say around here.

The buccaneers have now rounded up a crowd of apprentice pirates and one of them is giving them all a lecture on what is expected of them when they serve aboard the Good Ship Glug Glug.

Actually she should have been called The Jolly Roger but the pirate captain’s wife fell off the quayside as she swung the bottle of champers

Anyway, everyone was having a whale of a time (seeing as we are discussing nautical terms) and I left them to it, crossing the ad-hoc bridge over the artificial beach.

film screen festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Yesterday I thought that I saw a puss .. errr … a TV screen down on the harbour so I went for a closer look seeing as I was here.

It was in fact a screen showing a series of cartoons for children explaining in simple terms all about life at sea. It’s nice to see the kids having a fair whack at the festival.

From there I wandered into town to pay my quarterly pension cheque into my bank account. Now where can I go with €142:60? Spend! Spend! Spend! Hey?

At the chemist’s I bought the magnesium tablets. Extra-strong. According to my friend the pharmacist these will give me a donner un coup de fouet – liven me up.

She might actually have a point there. Thinking about it, I started going downhill when I finished the last lot, went without for a week or 10 days and then had that big box of German ones.

marité festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022That was it. I could go home now.

The walk back up the hill wasn’t as difficult as I was expecting. I still had to stop a couple of times for breath, at one point where I could overlook the port and see what was happening.

Marité was there of course, one of the centres of attention. But you can see just how busy the Festival is. And it will be like that until Sunday now, I reckon. It’s a good way to finish the summer season I suppose, even if the roads and the car parks will be crowded.

So having gathered my wits, I pushed on further up the hill towards home.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual, I wanted to see what was happening on the beach, although I don’t know why because I checked the camera on the way out.

The weather was much nicer today although maybe a little cooler. But the absence of people on the beach can probably be explained by the crowds of people down in the town and at the Festival.

Back here I had a surprise. There’s an undercurrent of dissent about the way the building is managed and two or three people are trying to stir up a revolution. They had pushed a letter into my letterbox

As I’m a tenant and not an owner, it doesn’t really concern me so I wrote a quick note on the back of the letter and put it in the letter box of the building’s President.

During this argument I’m taking no sides but I’m keeping in with the President. She’s the one who has my best chance of coming up the quickest with news of an apartment here to sell that I could buy.

The idea behind renting this place was because it would give me chance to look around and see what else was available. But there is no place on earth better than here so I’m staying here and renting rather than buying somewhere less good.

One day an apartment will come up here.

The walk was such that an iced chocolate drink went down well and then I began to update one or two of the blog entries with the dictaphone notes and images.

After a chat on the ‘phone with the President about my note

Tea tonight (at the usual, correct time) was pie with potatoes, veg and gravy. It’s one of my favourite meals and this one was just as nice as ever. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … my meals are simple but they aren’t half tasty.

It’s been a surprising day today – I’ve walked quite a way, not crashed out, done a lot of work. I wonder if I can keep this up. It’s not like me to have a day like this so I’m glad that I made the most of it.

Ready for the (af)fray tomorrow, I hope.

Wednesday 24th August 2022 – WHAT HAPPENED THERE?

cabin cuiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While you’re admiring a few of this afternoon’s photos featuring a variety of water craft, I’m still trying to understand what happened just now.

There I was going through all of the day’s photos editing them when I noticed that the time was 19:45.

That’s 15 minutes later than the usual tea-making time so I downed tools and went off to make tea – a curry from all of the leftovers as usual on a Wednesday.

But when I checked the time as I sat down to eat, it was actually 19:26. Somewhere along the line I’ve gained an hour and I wish that I could do that every day.

But it looks as if I’m cracking up. Even more evidence, in fact.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As I suspected, it was another night that was later than I anticipated. And for the usual reason too, that just as I was going to bed something interesting came up on the computer’s playlist.

It was of course another “Paul Temple” episode and these are far too good to miss. So for that reason it was … errr … somewhat later than usual that I went to bed.

Waking up with the alarm was one thing. Leaving the bed was something else completely and I wasn’t too far short of missing the second alarm.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I came in here to work and once I’d awoken properly and pulled myself together I could listen to the dictaphone to find out where I went last night.

boats baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022I had a job working for NATO in Brussels so I arranged to reserve a little apartment for myself for the night. I packed everything and went off to Brussels to find my little apartment. I ended up staying in a hotel room that night instead. Next morning when I was on my travels walking around I cam across a little apartment that looked really nice and was affordable. I started to rent that. I was settled down in a very short space of time. I also ended up with 3 cars for some reason, a Mini, another vehicle and a Morris 1000. I installed myself and the following night I was going to see a concert of some type. I went and bought some food but for some reason I didn’t eat it. I bought something else which was a raw steak. I had a primus stove and a frying pan so I went to this concert quite early on and started to fry this steak in the foyer while I was waiting for things to happen. The first thing that I did was to telephone my father. It was actually supposed to have been a former friend of mine but I ended up with my father. Someone said said “wait a minute” and they went to fetch my father but I fell asleep. When I awoke, the line was dead. He had gone. I found that friend’s phone number and called him. It took me about 4 or 5 goes to get through. His son answered it but when he saw the ‘phone number on the display he said “it must be for my dad” and passed it through. We had a chat but just then the bouncers appeared. I said that I’d have to go as I’d have to dismantle my frying pan and stove. By now the steak was cooked. One or two people were looking at me wondering what on earth I was doing going to eat a steak. It suddenly appeared to me that I was vegetarian so I walked back to Caliburn and threw this steak away thinking that I’d find a pack of chips somewhere. When I reached Caliburn I didn’t have the frying pan. I thought that I must have left that somewhere so I needed to retrace my steps. I bumped into another woman who said that it was strange that I’m cooking a steak when I’m vegan

boats baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022A little later on I stepped back into that dream and continued where I left of in the same dream. I was actually round at that former friend’s house and we were talking about either music or books or something. The subject of a couple of authors came up or musicians or something. We began to discuss what they were doing

But I can’t believe that I was round there last night and Zero didn’t make an appearance. I’ve not seen her, or Castor or TOTGA for months and I’m beginning to feel that they have deserted me.

As I have asked before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … why is it that my family, who I can quite easily live without, continue to haunt me in my dreams while those whom I would dearly like and give anything to have accompany me on my nocturnal voyages are conspicuous by their absence?

And while we’re on the subject of “haunt me in my dreams”, someone else who hasn’t been around for quite a while is The Vanilla Queen. Her ship seems to have sailed a long time ago.

Fighting off (successfully, for a change) a couple of waves of fatigue, some of the rest of the day has been spent transcribing arrears of dictaphone notes. There are just three days left to do and I suppose that had I pushed on, I could have finished them.

However one thing that I’ve learnt (through many years of bitter experience) is that output tapers off the longer you perform a continuous task as you begin to lose interest, and you become distracted far too easily.

That’s why I always have several tasks on the go at once and when I feel the interest flagging I can pass on to another one.

And so much of the rest of the time has been spent updating the earlier entries with the missing details. I’m not going to publicise them yet otherwise people will be leaping through all kinds of hoops to find them. There are two batches and I’ll publicise each batch as it’s finished individually.

A final thing that I’ve been doing is downloading a couple of photos and publishing them in our Welsh group chat. One of the things about which I was talking to my tutor during our marathon chat was the annual sealift in Arctic Canada.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve talked in the past about the prices in the shops in the Canadian High Arctic. That’s because they have one, just one, sealift every year – a delivery of freight that comes by sea and is offloaded into barges that bring it ashore.

And sometimes, as in 2018, they don’t have any at all if the weather is too bad. And whatever isn’t brought in by sea is obliged to be flown in and that comes at an even more hefty price.

So someone whom I know in Iqaluit on Baffin Island told me that yesterday – actually yesterday – they had the annual sealift and he very kindly let me have some photos. So I posted them in our chat group with a little note – in Welsh.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022We had the usual interruption for me to go on my afternoon walk. And for a change I wasn’t all that late.

Across the car park through the hordes of people over to the wall at the end to see what was happening down on the beach. And not only were there hordes of people up here, there were hordes of people down there too.

And a good proportion of those who were down there were in the water too, so hats off to them. It was a lovely day, but not that nice as far as I was concerned. And not as nice as some others might have thought either because there was definitely at least one kid squealing away.

There was a tent again too, and I was all intent on including it in the photo but it was too far out of shot.

kayak plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There were in fact people all the way down the beach as far as the Plat Gousset.

The yellow buoy that you can see marks the limit of the patrolled water. There are several of those buoys all in a line connected by a chain. However my interest was centred on the red object just offshore.

Despite having a good look at it, I couldn’t decide whether it was a kayak or an inflatable dinghy. As someone who has been half-way around the Arctic on board an inflatable dinghy, albeit a motorised one, I was hoping that it might have been the latter.

After all, they are very famous and go back to the days long before motor power, when all inflatable dinghies were sail-powered. Classical poems were even written about them. After all, you’ve all heard about Edward FitzGerald and “The Rubber Yacht of Omar Khayyam”

I’ll get my coat.

yellow powered hang glider baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As I mentioned just now, there were crowds of people out here on the path this afternoon so I had to fight my way down to the end.

And as I was doing so, I was overflown yet again. The little yellow powered hang-glider thing went flying past overhead on its way back to the airfield after a flight down the bay.

As it happens I was out at a different time today than yesterday so I was wondering whether he loiters out of sight around a corner and waits for me to come out before pouncing.

We haven’t seen any of the other little machines for a good few weeks. That’s a surprise considering the fact that we’re in a Summer season.

buoy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022On my way down the path I was looking out at sea to see what else was happening and you’ve already seen a couple of photos of what I saw.

But what else I saw was a collection of buoys out at sea, presumably indicating where some of the fishermen have dropped off their lobster pots. There were probably half a dozen or so that I saw out there with a variety of flags, suggesting that several fishermen had been out there.

Unfortunately there wasn’t much else to see because we were having another sea fog this afternoon. Only a small part of the Ile de Chausey was actually visible and that was our lot.

And so I carried on over to the lighthouse and across the car park

fishermen pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022From there I went down to the end of the headland to see what was happening there.

There were a couple of the yacht schools out and about as you have seen, but down there on the rocks were several fishermen.

It was like a garden gnome convention with each rock having its own angler. These three were deep in concentration studying their equipment but they didn’t really look as if they were about to catch anything.

After our jackpot a couple of days ago, we have to realise that you can’t win a coconut every time

cabanon vauban people taking photographs bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022With all that was going on down on the rocks and out to sea, I was expecting to see plenty of people out here at the end of the headland.

Loads of people on the path, and even a couple down by the cabanon vauban too.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that one theme that runs through these pages is “photos of people taking photos of people”. And so we were lucky this afternoon as someone duly obliged as I was watching, with his subject doing her best to look disinterested.

We’ve not had any more rain since the other day, by the way, and you can see how sad the vegetation is looking.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022From thee I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port to see what was happening there.

There wasn’t anyone playing “Musical Ships” again so I had a look over at the ferry terminal. Chausiaise is over there – there mustn’t be any freight workings while the Festival of Working Sailing Ships is taking place.

None of her sisters were there either. And they weren’t in port anywhere so there must be a lot going on at the Ile de Chausey despite it being obscured by fog and presumably they are all over there right now.

49ade aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While I was here looking at Chausiaise I was overflown yet again.

This time it’s an aeroplane though. From what I can see, her registration number is 49ADE and unfortunately that doesn’t tell us a lot. Her number isn’t in the database to which I can have access so I can’t tell you much about her, except that we haven’t seen her before.

An aeroplane like this won’t have filed a flight plan – it’s certainly not filed at the airfield here – and so I can’t tell you where it’s come from and where it’s going.

cap lihou chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022But right now I’m going to look at the things going on at the chantier naval.

Still the same half a dozen boats – no change there – but the respray on Cap Lihou is proceeding apace. They have done quite a considerable amount of work on her since yesterday and they are well advanced with the new paint job.

There are several people on the sky jack at the rear and judging by the noise that’s coming from down there they are still throwing the paint on.

There’s someone up on the roof of the wheelhouse but it’s not clear to me what he’s doing. It looks as if he’s wearing an aqualung but that can’t be right. For a start, there aren’t any park benches there for him to sit on.

marité festival of working sailing ships port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Walking further on down the path I reached the point where I could overlook the inner harbour.

Once again, Marité is having a day off and is tied up at the quayside next to the Russian ship Shtandart. But it looks as if the Festival of Working Sailing Ships is now open, judging by the crowds milling around down there.

The marquees are heaving with people this afternoon so there must be some kind of exhibition taking place. I really ought to go down and have a look.

But is that a TV screen of some description over there on the right?

la granvillaise marie fernand graine de sail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022In the previous photo we couldn’t see La Granvillaise and Marie Fernand. They’ve moved from where they had been tied up.

They are now tied up over there where Spirit of Conrad (currently in Norway) usually moors. La Granvillaise is on the left and in the middle of those three is Marie Fernand.

The boat on the right is much more interesting. She’s a commercial freight-carrying yacht called Graine de Sail and her claim to fame is that she has sailed across the Atlantic with 50 tonnes of freight on a commercial voyage.

It goes without saying that I want to talk to her crew, and for obvious reasons too, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

Back here I had a chocolate soya drink and then carried on with my work until a strangely early tea. But nevertheless the curry that I made was one of the best that I have ever made and if I can make more like that I’ll be really happy.

Sunday 22nd August 2021 – AS BARRY HAY …

… once famously said – “one thing I gotta tell you man, that it’s good to be back home.

And indeed it is too. Even though I didn’t go to bed until 02:30 last night, I slept right the way through until 12:40 this afternoon without a single interruption. And I must have needed it too.

There’s some stuff on the dictaphone too. I was with 3 girls and I can’t remember who they were now, which is a disaster, but I do know them. We were in Canada sightseeing in my Passat. In the end we tried to find the big fort that was at the junction of the two rivers on the cliff where the place was being defended. After poring over a map I worked out where it was. A passer-by showed us where it was as well so off we set. We went for a good explore and then went through the forest on the other side of the river which would lead us out to the battlefield and so on. After we’d been there we said “let’s go and visit Liz and Terry because they are leaving”. One of the others said that and the other 2 couldn’t believe that they were leaving. Off we went in the car and came to their apartment. We could see Liz down at the bottom working on the garden so off we went down their garden. The other 3 girls had disappeared somewhere along the way. I said to Liz “can we come and visit or are you too busy?”. She had a dubious think and said “ohh okay”. I turned round anf found that the other 3 had gone so I said “OK I’ll round them up”. Somewhere along the line I had one of these pencil case purse type of things with a huge pile of cash in it and I can’t understand why. There had been some discussion about my cars. Someone said that they couldn’t see the word “Audi” on the clock. I said that it isn’t an Audi but a Cortina – no, it’s a Passat

First thing was of course the medication, and after I’d taken all of that I came back in here to check my messages, of which there were more than just a few.

With all of this medication, I have to wait for about an hour before I can eat anything so it was rather a late lunch – or breakfast – today. Toast and porridge and coffee.

After my meal I paired up the tracks for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow morning. And that reminds me – I mustn’t forget my appointment with the physiotherapist tomorrow afternoon, and to go and do some shopping too because there isn’t much here in the house.

Having dealt with that, it was time to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst place to go to visit is the beach, of course. It’s been almost a week since I’ve seen it and it will be interesting to se how the tide has evolved.

Right now, the tide is quite far out, and there is plenty of room for people to be wandering around and lazing about down there, soaking up the sun. And plenty of people were making the most of the opportunity too.

No-one had actually made it right into the water this afternoon, and that wasn’t a surprise because although it was reasonably warm this afternoon, there was quite a wind blowing, as you can tell by the whitecaps on the waves down there.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile one of my eyes was looking around at the events going on down on the beach, the other one was looking around out at sea.

It’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good, as the old saying goes. And the proof of that is that despite the fact that the tide is well out and the harbour is inaccessible, there’s a yacht out there that is taking full advantage of the wind.

He’s going to have to stay out until the tide turns in about 5 hours time, so I hope that he’s stocked up with supplies while he waits.

There’s another one right out there near the horizon too, but I’ve no idea where he might have come from.

sparrowhawk pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving dealt with the question of the land and the sea so far, it remains for me to check the air to see what’s going on up above.

Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen plenty of photos of the sparrowhawks that seem to congregate around the cliffs here. And there’s another one out there this afternoon keeping an eye open for something for tea.

A year or so ago, there was just one of them and then a second one came along some time later. Now there are four or five of them, so the cliffs are obviously a happy hunting ground, otherwise they wouldn’t be sticking around like they do.

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd then of course, while we were dealing with that, we were overflown by a mechanical device.

This one is our old friend F-GBAI, the Robin DR400-140B that belongs to the Granville Aero Club and which we have seen quite regularly flying around the Baie de Granville.

She took off at 16:03 this afternoon, flew a short way down the coast towards the Pointe de Carolles, back again, did a lap around towards Coutances and then came back into land at 16:17. My photo was taken at (adjusted) 16:12 so I must have caught her coming back from down the coast.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe weather was quite clear this afternoon and we could see quite far out to sea.

The ile de Chausey was looking quite splendid this afternoon although the houses at the foot of the lighthouse didn’t stand out as well as they have done for us in the past.

There wasn’t all that much activity out there at sea though. I could only see a couple of yachts and that was about my lot. None of the ferries were visible, which wasn’t all that much of a surprise seeing that the tide won’t be far enough in here at Granville to allow them into the harbour for another couple of hours.

beaches marker lights ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe view down at the north-east end of the island was quite clear today as well.

With the tide being so far out, we can see the beaches there today, looking really nice. We walked along those when we were over there with the Spirit of Conrad. Most of them are leased out to seafood harvesters and where you are allowed to walk is controlled.

And you can tell how high the tide comes in by looking at the warning beacons on the rocks. Those rocks are well-submerged at high tide and the height of the beacons with give you some idea of just how much water will cover them.

police car parked on grass pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe paths around the headland were quite crowded this afternoon.

The car park at the Pointe du Roc was completely full and everyone was having to park on the grass at the side of it.

You can tell that it must have been authorised because there is a police car parked on there as well. There were a couple of coppers walking around the lawn amongst the crowds but I’m not sure why. I didn’t actually see them do anything while I was watching.

Mind you, I didn’t wait around all that long. I’m trying not to draw attention to myself.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallInstead, I went for a little wander around on the lawn on the other side of the car park.

le Loup, the marker light on the rock just outside the harbour entrance was looking quite attractive this afternoon in the sun. You can actually see how high the tide actually rises down in the bay by looking at the change in colour of the material with which she’s built.

There are a few people right out on the beach behind it, and in the background, we can see quite clearly the houses at Kairon-Plage and Jullouville on the side of the coast road down to Avranches.

On the skyline on the right-hand side of the image is that strange tower, and one of these days I’ll go for a wander round over there to see what it is.

man fishing pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s Sunday in August, the height of the tourist season, so I was half-expecting to see crowds of fishermen on the rocks this afternoon taking advantage of it.

In fact, I only did see one of them out there. He was up to his knees in the sea casting his line out into the water, without having very much luck by the looks of things. As far as I could see, he didn’t have a net or a bag with him in which to keep his catch

As for commercial fishermen, or recreational fishermen out there in boats, I couldn’t see a one. There were a couple of small boats out there though, but they were quite far out and it wasn’t possible to tell who they were or what they were up to.

peche à pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, he wasn’t the only person out there fishing this afternoon.

A little further around from where our fishermen was standing, there were three young people scrambling around on the rocks, looking for all the world as if they were doing a bit of the old peche à pied, although the tide wasn’t far enough out to make a good catch.

No boats out there that were close enough to photograph and nothing else of any excitement going on, so I pushed on … “pushed off” – ed … along the path around the headland towards the port.

trawler trafalgar charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving been away from the town for a few days, I wanted to see what was happening down in the chantier naval.

There has been quite a high and rapid turnover of boats in there just recently so I was expecting to see a few changes in there.

However, there didn’t seem to be anything different in there. There was Charlevy of course, still there on her blocks on the right-hand side of the image, all masked off and with a nice fresh coat of paint.

The smaller fishing boat is there too in the centre of the image, up on blocks in front of the line of all of the others. There doesn’t look as if there is much room left to bring anyone else in if there is an emergency.

trawler trafalgar charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little further along the path I could have a good look at the row of boats by the old dry dock.

There are five of them there, including the trawler Trafalgar nearest the camera. So there’s a total of seven boats in there right now, and that is pretty good going.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … it’s good to see such a busy ship repairers. It encourages people to bring their boats into Granville, knowing that they can be serviced and repaired here. Plenty of boats in the port is good for the town.

yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust before we went away, we also saw a yacht in the yard down here too, looking as if she was about to receive a paint job.

While I was out there this afternoon, I didn’t forget to have a look down there to see how she was getting on.

And by the looks of things, she’s getting on quite well. She’s pretty well masked off and she looks from what I can see that she’s already had a coat of paint on her superstructure. I’ll be very interested to see how she turns out when she is finished.

It’ll be quite exciting too, watching the portable boat lift coming to fetch her and take her back to drop into the water.

horse and carriage chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn one of the earlier photos we had a good view of Chausiase, the little freighter that runs out to the Ile de Chausey and back.

At that time, I didn’t take a photo of her because I’d seen something else out of the corner of my eye and I wanted to wait until I could take the picture that I wanted.

There wasn’t long to wait, as it happened. Soon enough, a horse and open carriage came into view, carrying some passengers. It looks as if part of the entertainment for this Festival of Working Sailboats includes a ride ina carriage.

However, I’m not sure why this would be. It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t really have much of a nautical flavour about it.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were bound to be further interruptions today, with all of this nice sunny but windy weather.

Sure enough, the Bird-Men of Alcatraz decided to come out and enjoy the weather this afternoon. One by one they came over the Pointe du Roc on their way down to the end of the headland.

There were all kinds of nazgul going by over head. This one is a two-seater, as you can see, and the person in the front seat seems to be filming the voyage as they passed by overhead. They will probably have a good film to show everyone when they return, thanks to the good weather.

crowds festival of working sailboats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I mentioned the other day, this weekend is the Festival des Voiles de Travail, the “Festival of Working Sailboats”.

Today is the climax of the event and so I was expecting to see crowds of people wandering around down there, and I’m not disappointed. The harbour down there was heaving with them this afternoon.

It was interesting to see the old marker buoys that were down there. I’m not quite sure what is the purpose of displaying them. I suppose that if it’s connected with the sea, it’s good enough to exhibit them

And that rectangle that we saw – it’s actually a water tank and there were some model boats going around it.

crowds festival of working sailboats rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the reasons why there were cars parked just about everywhere this afternoon is that the car park down at the port is occupied .

As part of the Festival, they have erected tents and booths on the car park, and part of the exhibition is being held down there. It seems to be quite popular too, with all of the people who we can see down there.

It’s a strange decision though – to hold an event in the centre of the town in order to attract tourists from elsewhere, and put the event on the car park so that they have nowhere to park so that they can visit it. They should have put these tents on the other side of the harbour where the gravel used to be stored.

jazz band crowds festival of working sailboats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the things that we saw them erecting last weekend or whenever it was is a grandstand.

We now seem to have acquired a stage too, and there was a jazz band performing down there this afternoon to give the festival some kind of ambience and to entertain the public as they wander around.

All of the greenery down there was interesting too. We seem to have acquired a kind of desert island environment with sand and palm trees, presumably to give a kind of “Pirates” effect to that part of the exhibition.

If that’s the case, then instead of a jazz band, there ought to have been Roy Plomley, a gramophone record and 8 songs.

Croix du Sud 3 sailing yacht port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy the looks of things, we have a new sailing boat in the harbour right now, one that I haven’t seen them before.

She’s called Croix du Sud III and was built in 1934. She was built as a fishing boat and when she retired, she passed through several pairs of hands before being bought by the town of Cherbourg in 2003.

She was completely overhauled as soon as she came into the hands of the town, and again during the winter of 2015-16 and is now the “official boat” of the town. She now represents the town at all kinds of maritime events, and that’s probably why she’s here at the Festival.

Croix du Sud 3 sailing yachr port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe harbour gates are closed so she can’t go outside.

As I watched her, she was doing a series of figure-eights, taking passenger around the harbour. She is completely sold out, by the way, so I couldn’t have a trip on her even if I so wished.

And that was really all that was happening, so I decided to go back home and have a nice cold strawberry smoothie.

You are probably wondering why I haven’t gone down there for a closer look around and ro take a few photographs. The fact is that I didn’t feel as if I could face the walk back up the hill afterwards. I really am in a right state, aren’t I?

Back here I spent the rest of the day going through the photos. As well as today’s, there were those for the previous two days too, which I’ll bring up to date when I’ve transcribed the dictaphone notes.

After my lunch i’d taken out the last pizza dough and it had been defrosting during the afternoon. Now it was ready to be kneaded and rolled, put on the pizza tray and left for an hour to rise. When it was ready I assembled the pizza and then baked it.

It was delicious and really tasty, despite it being rather low on ingrdients. No dessert of course because I wasn’t hungry – my appetite is still down from where it was.

And now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed. There’s an early start in the morning and a radio programme to prepare. I need to be on top form.

Tuesday 17th August 2021 – HERE I ALL AM …

… not actually sitting in a rainbow but sitting in my little room in Leuven in Belgium.

Just for a change there were very few problems as far as the journey went but I have had a fraught time and I can’t go on like this for much longer.

This morning started fair enough as I was awake as soon as the alarm went off and there was some stuff on the dictaphone. There was something happening last night about Channel swimmers and there was even a dog that swam the Channel but in almost every one of these cases they were carrying drugs and the bag of drugs would split in their stomachs and almost all of them would die from drug overdoses just as they reached shore

Because of my condition I was having to move. They had offered to treat me at Chester General Hospital so I went to live in Connah’s Quay. That was several trips of 150 miles to organise everything . While I was there the new ferry out of Connah’s Quay, Castell Alun I think, was sailing through the sky brightly lit by the moonlight. I went to make myself a mug of hot chocolate which was just powder and boiling water. While I was there some people were walking past my house. They were talking about whatever it was that had to be 94 inches wide rather than 84, and they didn’t know where they would find something like that size. I didn’t know what it was that they were talking about because they certainly wouldn’t find a lorry that width.

To my deep regret I didn’t step back into that epic and memorable dream where I left off yesterday, and wasn’t that a disappointment?

Having tidied and cleaned up the living room yesterday for when the nurse came, it didn’t take too long to prepare everything ready to leave. Taking the rubbish outside was exciting though – I can’t believe that there was so much and I’m surprised that it didn’t walk out there all on its own.

In the absence of the NIKON 1 J5 I took with me the old NIKON D3000 fitted with the old 15-110mm lens.

houses on brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s not as easy to pack as the Nikon 1 but a lot smaller, easier and lighter than the big NIKON D500.

First thing that I did when I was out there this morning was to take a few pics with the camera to make sure that it was working correctly.

The weather was really cloudy with just a few gaps in the clouds where the sun was streaming through. It was illuminating a couple of houses way over on the Brittany coast and so I reckoned that that was a good enough object to try out the camera.

And despite the haze on the water across there, it’s not too bad an attempt for a 9 year-old camera and lens of doubtful quality

joly france belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile close to home, there was some activity doing on over at the ferry terminal as if they are preparing the boats for the morning crossings.

To the right of the image is one of the Joly France boats. She’s the one with the rectangular windows in “portrait” format and that tells me that she’s the older one of the two.

As for the one in front of her, hidden by the jetty, it’s difficult to say who she is. The brightness of her colours seems to suggest to me that she’s the brand-new Belle France but that is a mere assumption on my part.

It’s not the little freighter Chausiaise at any rate.

festival de voiles de travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo having made sure that the camera was working sufficiently well, I set off for the railway station

What has been catching my eye for the last few days has been the appearance of all of these tents and other weird things that have sprung up all over the harbour.

The tents now have their sides fitted so they are going to be some kind of exhibition rather than somewhere to shelter from the rain.

And the purpose of that rectangular enclosure is still something that I have yet to discover.

victor hugo festival de voiles de travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown on where the fishermen keep their gear and on the car park next door, they have erected a few marquees too.

There’s what looks like the hulk of a very small and old wooden boat.

Incidentally, I found out what it is that is to happen down there because there was an advertisement in a shop window that I passed. It’s the Festival De Voiles De Travail, the “Festival of Working Sailing boats” starting tomorrow and finishing on Sunday.

And it doesn’t make much sense to me to have a Festival to entice crowds down to the town and then erect it on the car park so that they can’t park their cars anywhere to visit it.

police blocking road rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor a change I decided to go to the station via the town centre rather than the park because I didn’t think that I could get up the steps at the end.

Mind you, I was wondering whether I would be allowed to walk up the Rue Couraye because as I turned the corner into the street I encountered a police barrage and they were directing all of the traffic down a side street.

It’s not the done thing of course to photograph the police in the execution of their duty unless there’s a very good reason but of course I was more interested in the guy drinking his coffee outside the café on the corner, which I could photograph having been allowed to pass beyond the barrage.

broken down van rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOf course you are all wondering why there might be a barrage across the road.

It didn’t take long for me to discover why either. There’s a large van that has broken down on the road junction and as I passed the driver, he was busy telephoning for a dépanneur.

While I was recovering my breath from the climb so far I could take a photo of it, and then I could press on. But it was a long, hard climb up the hill for some reason today and I really didn’t feel anything like as well as I ought to have done or indeed have done in the past.

This was a really difficult walk.

84559 gec alstom regiolis gare de Granville railway station Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I arrived at the railway station, my train was already there so I could go along and find my seat. And I needed it too because I was exhausted.

My knee gave out while I was trying to climb into the carriage and it really was a most undignified entrance as I fell inside, dropping all of my luggage, and then trying desperately to stand up again.

Eventually I found my seat and I could set about updating the portable computer with the files that I’d copied earlier off the big computer.

And I had a very cute and charming young companion on my trip to Paris but unfortunately she wasn’t the chatty type so we didn’t say very much at all to each other.

84584 gec alstom regiolis gare montparnasse paris France Eric HallMuch to my surprise, and yours too after all of the recent events, we arrived at Gare Montparnasse bang on time to the minutes.

The next bit wasn’t quite so easy because there had been an abandoned piece of luggage found by the entrance to the metro and so it was all closed off while they fetched someone to examine it.

It took them about 15 minutes for them to clear the problem and we could advance. Everywhere was crowded as you might expect although I did just about manage to find a seat.

And that was just as well because trying my best to rush down the long corridor and up the steps had finished me off.

224 TGV Reseau Duplex gare du nord paris France Eric HallMy late arrival at the Gare du Nord meant that I didn’t have too long to wait for my train to Lille Flandres.

As usual, it’s one of the TGV Reseau Duplex double-decker trains, and in order to board it we had to show our vaccine passes and then our rail tickets, which meant that juggling two different screens consecutively on the mobile phone wasn’t an easy task when you have a handful of luggage.

The voyage was quite uneventful and we arrived at Lille on time. But by now the cloudy day had turned to light rain so walking down the road to Lille Europe was at least quite refreshing, even if it was not easy

TGV Réseau 38000 tri-volt 4517 PBA gare du midi brussels belgium Eric HallAs I walked onto the railway station at Lille Europe my train pulled in at the platform.

It’s one of the “Paris Brussels Amsterdam” or PBA Reseau 38000 tri-volt trains, and inside it was chaos as no-one was sitting in the correct seat. But I quickly turfed out the people from my seat and took my place.

For a change I was on my own on this train so I could stretch out on my way to Brussels.

At Brussels they had a barrage as the police were checking vaccination passes. The queue stretched for miles and it wasn’t long before people began looking for a by-pass. I followed them through as well and left the queue behind.

big wheel foire du midi brussels belgium Eric HallUnfortunately the delay meant that I had missed my usual train to Leuven so I had to wait for about 15 minutes for the next one

While I was waiting, I was sitting on a concrete kerbstone watching what was going on all around me. It’s the time of the year right now when we have the Foire du Midi, the big funfair that takes place outside the Gare du Midi.

They have a big wheel too just like the one that we have at Granville and from where I was sitting I could see it going round. There are usually a few other large attractions too but they were out of my view unfortunately.

And it’s much more interesting at night too when everything is all illuminated.

push me pull you gare du midi brussels belgium Eric HallEventually my train pulled up, and it was another one of the pushme-pullyous that we have on the Oostende-Welkenraedt route as there is no run-round for the locomotive at Oostende.

It’s brought with it the rain too, as you can see. Luckily I’m underneath the platform canopy but you can see how much is teeming down by looking at the photo. It’s raining cats and dogs right now.

This train was pretty packed too but with being at the front of the train I could grab a seat quite easily before the crowds who had swarmed on board at the centre of the train filtered down my way.

There are a couple of single seats right by the door so I grabbed one of those and I wasn’t bothered by anyone else.

1882 class 18 electric locomotive gare de leuven railway station belgium Eric HallAt Leuven I could wait and photograph the locomotive that was pushing our train.

It’s one of the class 18 electrics – the workhorses of the SNCB these days, and why is it that there is always someone who makes a special effort to walk in front of you when you are photographing something?

The rain was coming down quite heavily by now and I struggled to reach my little room. And I had to come up the stairs on my hands and knees as it was the only way that I could get myself up them.

There is shopping to do as well so after a rest of about 90 minutes I headed off down the road. Just as far as Delhaize because I didn’t have the strength to go to the Carrefour.

And I only bought stuff for tea and a loaf of bread for toast in the morning too. I’m having to do my shopping in two loads because I don’t have the strength to carry everything back up the hill in one go.

Now that I’ve had tea and written my notes, I’m off to bed. No alarm in the morning because I need a good lie-in to recover. And then I’ll have to go down the road and buy the stuff for lunch.

What a state to be in!