Tag Archives: haircut

Monday 29th April 2024 – I’VE BROKEN ONE …

… of my nice dinner plates this evening.

That’s a shame because I quite liked this set of crockery. But what’s surprising is that I’ve owned it almost 7 years and it’s the first piece of any sort of crockery and glassware that I’ve broken since I’ve been living here.

And the estate agents reminded me that yesterday it’s actually been seven years since I moved in. You’ve no idea how time flies. When we were kids our six weeks summer holiday used to last for ever, but nowadays a year passes in the blink of an eye and it’s very uncomfortable.

Eight years ago today I was living in Leuven in Belgium, going to the hospital every two weeks, going to watch OH Leuven in the Belgian second division and travelling on Belgium’s wonderful railway network to all sorts of bizarre football grounds for various matches

Going to SK Lierse was always my favourite of course. They had cheerleaders to entertain the crowd and they were much nicer-looking cheerleaders than those whom we encountered that night in that truckstop on Interstate 80 in Bangor, Maine, when we were on our way to a tractor pull in New Hampshire.

Of course, that’s all water under the bridge now. I won’t ever revisit the USA, won’t be going to see SK Lierse and won’t be going to Leuven either. In fact I’ll be lucky if I ever make it outside the front door of my apartment unless it’s in the company of a taxi driver taking me to a medical appointment.

And while we’re on the subject of medical appointments and taxis … "well, one of us is" – ed … I rang up the taxi company today to talk to them about my trips to Paris.

They need to be authorised by the Securité Sociale in advance and the hospital had obtained prior authorisation for three trips. Those three trips had expired and so they need to obtain some more authorisation.

When I was there last week I explained this to the doctor but I wasn’t convinced that she understood. Consequently my plan was to have the taxi company speak to the hospital to explain what was required and negotiate with them directly. After all, it’s all good business for them

However I needn’t have worried. The hospital has applied for, and received, prior authorisation for no fewer than FIFTEEN further trips to Paris. I’m not sure exactly what they are expecting, but it sounds extremely worrying. Are they REALLY expecting me to go that many times?

But anyway, that was today.

Yesterday I ended up going to bed quite late because of the football. Even so, it still took an age to actually go to sleep but once I did I slept the Sleep of the Dead and didn’t move an inch. In fact, it was another night when there was nothing at all on the dictaphone.

That’s a shame because as I have said before … "and on many occasions too" – ed … what usually goes on during the night is much more exciting these days than what happens during the daytime. After the exciting life that I’ve lived, being confined to spending the rest of my days sitting on a chair is a pretty miserable existence.

When the alarm went off I fell out of bed as usual, switched it off and wandered off to the bathroom, followed by wandering off into the dining area for my medication, the usual mounds of it.

Having set out the room as the nurse likes it, she dealt with my foot and puttees as this story about the prescription on the wall of the doctor’s office rumbled on.

We agreed that I’d ring up to make further enquiries and let her know what I’ve found out. And then she cleared off and left me to it.

It took half a dozen calls to the doctor’s before the secretary answered the call. I’d been trying for hours. Anyway she was convinced that the prescription had been written. Anyway, the doctor would be back at 16:00 so further enquiries could be made them.

With that news I rang back the nurse and that proved to be a complicated affair trying to connect to her. But we managed in the end and I could explain the situation to her. She’d follow it up.

Then the cleaner came round with the rest of the medical supplies so I explained the situation to her. She had to go there with a client this afternoon so she’d look herself for the prescription.

She called me back later to say that she’d been, she’d looked, but there was nothing there.

At about 16:30 the nurse phoned me back. She’d seen the doctor and he’d written nothing. So what’s this story all about them? It’s a total mystery to me. The plot sickens.

In the meantime this afternoon I’ve gone one better than Dave Crosby, presumably because I had the ‘flu for Christmas and wasn’t feeling up to par. But I’m not giving in an inch to fear because I promised myself this year. I feel like I owe it to someone

And they can come and collect it out of the waste bin in the bathroom any time they like.

The rest of the afternoon has been spent either working on the Unit of the Welsh course that I missed while I was in hospital or else I was asleep.

While I was working I was fighting off wave after wave of sleep, so much so that I couldn’t concentrate so in the end I gave up and had an hour fast asleep on the chair here inn the office. Then I could crack on and finish it.

Tea tonight was a delicious stuffed pepper but taking the pyrex cooking bowl out of the air fryer it slipped from my grasp, fell on the dinner plate and broke it. That’s a really sad state of affairs because I now have an odd number of items

However in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter all that much as I’m never likely to have visitors here for meals. In fact, I’m not really likely to have visitors at all these days.

There’s plenty of stuffing left though so I’ll have a taco roll tomorrow and then on Wednesday have one of my leftover curries with what’s left. On Thursday I’ll send off my LeClerc order and stock up with supplies for the next few weeks

Right now though I’m off to bed, and hope that I’ll go off on a few voyages to break the monotony and not break the crockery.

It reminds me of that famous advert that I once saw – "Unbreakable tea service for sale – matching teapot, cream jug, sugar bowl, six cups and five saucers."

Thursday 25th January 2024 – I’VE BEEN OVERWHELMED …

… by a fit of positivity today, and I’ve absolutely idea where it came from.

It’s probably something to do with the choice of music. When I make up a playlist of Hawkwind or Help Yourself, Marillion or Alquin it brings back far too many distant memories that I’ve long since consigned to the dustbin of history – or, at least, I thought that I had

And as Gimli said to Legolas in LORD OF THE RINGS, "Memory is not what the heart desires. That is only a mirror"

Instead, I’ve been making up a playlist of Tangerine Dream. By an amazing coincidence, Edgar Froese, John Kay of Steppenwolf and my friend Lorna’s mum were in the same refugee column that fled from Tilsit in East Prussia in the winter of 1944/45 before the advancing Red Army.

Lorna’s mum, who was 12 at the time, told some horrific tales of the flight that people would have found hard to believe before the news of the events in Ukraine broke

But I digress … "again" – ed

Tangerine Dream bring back memories of happier times – the hot summer of 1976 where we lived at an abandoned sand quarry near Congleton and the next couple of years when I was struggling to get myself and my life together again after several years in the Wilderness and ended up going from living in an old van to owning a brand new semi-detached house in the suburbs of Winsford in just 3 years.

Albums like TANGRAM, WHITE EAGLE, FORCE MAJEURE and EXIT with the two magnificent tracks PILOTS OF PURPLE TWILIGHT and CHORONZON that can only ever be played one after the other.

Then there is CYCLONE, the best of all the Tangerine Dream albums with two tracks that have never ever been off my playlist, BENT COLD SIDEWALK, and RISING RUNNER MISSED BY ENDLESS SENDER.

But maybe it isn’t. I found an old elastic knee reinforcement that I used a few years ago and I tried that last night. I’ve been wearing it ever since on my right leg and since then the pain seems to be manageable. Perhaps it’s that which is making me feel better

However, it’s still something of a misery in bed and I was moving around all night trying to find a comfortable position. Not that you would have thought so with the amount of stuff on the dictaphone. Even when I was asleep it must have been quite restless, and there were some strange, very strange comments on the dictaphone, such as “you can tell that I’ve been on this anti-potassium stuff. There’s a radio playing somewhere, there’s a speaking voice that I can hear presenting a radio programme from somewhere. There’s absolutely no radio anywhere near where I am and this time of night no-one would be playing a radio so loud that it would penetrate solid grès de Chaussee solid granite walls 1.20m thick. I’ve no idea what’s happening except that it’s really confusing me”.

And then I awoke (so I said in my sleep) in the middle of a dream. I was in a French class and was late back from a break. Everyone else was there so I had to fight my way through the crowds to a seat at the back. The teacher had given everyone an exercise that they had to write a letter as if they were in the final throes of preparing a music festival when someone had written offering his services as a singer. I had to hunt for the question first – it was on page 80 of our notes so eventually I managed to find it. When I went to begin to write I found that my notebook was completely full. I reached under my desk, went into my backpack, pulled out a scrap pad. The people around me were amazed that I had so much stuff and was so well organised that I even had a spare notepad. I just gave a smile and began to write down the question on the spare notepad so that I’d be ready to answer it and writing it down gives me a little chance to think a little

Talking of surprises, I think that the whole wide world would be surprised at the amount of stuff that that I have. I’m probably sitting on a fortune of stuff that I’ve never had time to deal with. And as for being well-organised, I think that even I would be surprised at that.

They’d … "who?" – ed … been playing in a rock band with Declan McManus of Leek’s sister and somewhere in the middle of the Sunday hall they’d been overcome by something or other. They thought that it was just grief but maybe there was some slight predicament that was needed but it grew worse as the day went on. His leg was positively killing him at night so they arranged for an ambulance to come and collect him and have a look at whatever it was but I don’t know the name of the film now but I remember thinking that it was an excellent film and deserved to be shown on mainstream television.

And apart from the fact that Declan McManus doesn’t play for Leek but for TNS in Wales, you don’t really expect a dream to make sense, do you?

After that we were suddenly in Crewe again. I was sitting rather than going for a walk and suddenly had an appalling fear or suspicion that someone was watching me and I couldn’t shake it out of my mind …fell asleep here

At a later moment a bunch of crooks had stolen a pile of antiques from a place in South-West London, rather similar to something like one of the Ealing comedies. I was involved merely as a spectator. The retreated to their headquarters with all of their loot. They tried to take taxis in order to disperse but all of the taxis were booked. In the meantime I was ringing a friend of mine in Chester to tell him that I’d left my job there as an underwriting clerk. If he was still looking for a job there was one vacant and he ought to apply. I was greeted to a pile of silence so I said “right, see you there” and hung up. I went back into the room where they were arguing. Eventually one of them grabbed his share of the loot from the table, said “right, I’m going by bus”. Someone else replied “the buses from here don’t go to Finchley Central”. He replied “I don’t care. I can take a bus to the Angel, take a bus to somewhere else and catch a bus there. It’s better than sitting around”. That propelled one or two others to start moving, particularly the fellow who had organised it to suddenly get to grips with what was going on and get a settlement to the airport so that they could fly out of the UK quickly

Did I dictate that I was with Marillion last night? … "No you didn’t" – ed … Things had been slack for them on the music scene and they’d become taxi drivers. Someone had gone up to Fish to tell him that they’d seen a dead body somewhere. He was at the taxi rank picking up a fare so as soon as he dropped off the fare he went with this other person to go to look to see if they could find this body. The rest of his group turned up too to help. Then the alarm went off so I don’t know what happened next

It was a struggle to make it to my feet which is no surprise these days and to give you an idea of what’s going on right now, getting dressed, going into the kitchen, taking my medicine and then coming back in here took me 50 minutes. What kind of state is that to be in?

First thing was to check the mails and messages and then to transcribe the dictaphone notes. And then afterwards, seeing as I was in a malicious mood I rang up the garage to find out why they hadn’t been for Caliburn.

After the usual excuses they’ll be here for him on the 8th of February to take him for his annual controle technique.

And that’s a shame because just when I was getting myself under control and feeling as if I might manage a trip around the block, I have this really bad fall that knocks the stuffing out of me and sets me back.

While I was now in something of an aggressive mood, I rang up the supermarket to complain about why one of the products that i’d ordered and they’d delivered yesterday was damaged. I sent them a photo by e-mail and they agreed.

The result is that I’ve had the purchase price credited back to my account and I can keep the product. They were really quite nice and helpful too which made a lovely change.

Next task was to go one better than David Crosby, presumably because I hadn’t had the flu for Christmas and was not feeling under par. It’s been a while and it was growing quite long – at least, for how I like it these days – but now it’s all short and bristly thanks to the sheep-shearer in the bathroom cupboard.

Strangely enough, sitting on the chair in the bathroom after I’d finished, I crashed out for 5 minutes. While I was away with the fairies there was something going on in my subconscious about two cats having a playfight and someone picking up one of them.

Of course, that made me wish that the tenant in my apartment downstairs would hurry up and find somewhere else to live so that I can move downstairs and have a moggy adopt me. Only 16 more months until the lease ends but I can do with her clearing off a long time before that. The way that I feel right now, I’ll be finished off a long time before the lease is.

Once I’d returned to the Land of the Living I loaded the washing machine and gave the clothes a whizz around while I went to eat some fruit. Only apples and clementines – I don’t like the pears that they have and they had run out of the Eco bananas at the delivery site.

There was even some time to play the guitar – the first time for several weeks. But how sad is it that I can no longer stand up to do it and sing? I’m really surprised that I kept my good humour.

Once I’d hung up the washing to dry I went to sit down. I reckon that I’d done enough today. I really don’t know what had come over me with all of this effort, as Monica Lewinsky one famously said.

After my hot chocolate and Christmas cake (there’s not much of that left now) I carried on with the radio programme and wrote a few notes for some of the tracks that will be figuring in the programme. Just a few to dictate now and it will be finished and I can go back to my usual routine and record it on Saturday night.

In the meantime I’ve been giving my “Hawkfest” and “Isle of Wight 1968” programmes some thought, about who will feature and so on.

The Hawkfest isn’t too difficult. Back in the good old days of the anarchy of what was loosely called “Usenet” down in the bowels of the internet quite a comprehensive list of the first Hawkfest performers was “published” and I tracked a few down, even someone who lived in Congleton who had been up on the stage performing, but the first Isle of Wight is not so easy. There was a big pile of extremely obscure groups who played there, including one that at one time had had on bass guitar Lewis Collins, later actor in The Professionals.

Even finding their names wasn’t easy, and tracking down any of their work will be much harder than that.

As for tea, I changed my mind about what to have.

During the course of the day my mind had gone from gravy to cheese sauce and I don’t know why, but nevertheless I steamed some vegetables in my microwave vegetable steamer and cooked some falafel in a nice thick cheese sauce which I poured (well, it was too thick to pour, but you get the meaning) over the top. And it was just as delicious as I expected.

So right now I’m going to go to bed. And hope that I awaken in the same positive mind tomorrow.

First task (and straight away too) is to bake my bread for the weekend. That’s important and it needs to be done early ready for my mid-morning cheese on toast.

My bread rolls were a success so I might do that again, but this time hope that the bread rises more than it did last time. I really don’t understand why my bread doesn’t rise like it ought to.

It reminds me of the time that I went to the doctors to ask for certain “help, advice and assistance” about my meeting with a certain young lady of my acquaintance in April a couple of years ago and who has figured in these pages on occasions too numerous to count, especially during the night.

He took one look at my “problem” and said "I’ll give you the number of a spiritualist whom I know"
"Why’s that?" I asked.
"I’m a doctor" he replied. "It’s my job to heal the sick. It’s his job to raise the dead."

Thursday 2nd November 2023 – I WAS RIGHT …

… about the weather last night. It did become rather windy. Not that there was very much about which we needed to worry – the gusts of wind didn’t go any faster than a mere 207 kilometres per hour as measured at the weather station by the lighthouse at the end of the road.

As well as police patrols on the cliffs to keep people away, several roads were closed, including the one that goes along the promenade near the sailing school where the waves were washing over the wall into the car park opposite.

At 06:00 the emergency services and the council workmen were called out to begin removing the trees that had blown down everywhere and to re-erect the signposts that had been uprooted.

It didn’t help my sleep very much either. It seemed that almost every time that I was off on a nocturnal ramble around and about, a large gust of wind awoke me and that was that.

Nevertheless when the alarm went off at 07:00 I was flat out asleep and it was something of a struggle to raise myself from the dead.

Later on I tried to telephone the garage about Caliburn’s Controle Technique but there was no-one answering. I imagine that they were among the many people who didn’t make it into work today. I know that my cleaner never made it into town. She gave up after going 150 metres.

Armed with a mug of coffee and a home-made fruit bun I had a listen to the rather depressing voyages on the dictaphone and to reflect on what might have been. There was something about meeting people via the internet last night. I can’t remember all that much about it except that there was a warning that if you encountered anyone taller than 5’8″ you had to communicate the fact to the organisers rather than proceeding as you might normally do. It wasn’t quite as simple as that – it was a complicated affair about meeting people and not simply a dating site or something like that.

We set out later from somewhere in the North to go somewhere down South in one of the hospital taxi vehicles. It looked as if the paperwork for my stay in hospital to sort myself out had been accepted and I could now travel that kind of distance instead of being stuck to a hospital that was much closer to home but maybe isn’t as specialised.

And then we were discussing ways in which our department could improve its output. Among the many suggestions was one that we should work closer with the local authorities. I set out a four-point plan of what I felt that the local authorities needed to do with out work, which was continually being interrupted by the guy in charge. There was a fifth point that I mentioned that each side should show the other some respect. For some reason he blew up at that. he began to list all the things that he said had happened including the fact that one of my colleagues had spent several weeks preparing something to be worked on by the local authority. I asked him “if that’s the case why are we having this meeting today to discuss ways of doing it if our colleague has already done it?” to which he blew up even more. He made it clear that he had no interest whatever in listening to anything that we had to say. In the end I told him that if he’s going to call a meeting simply to listen to our complaints and then shoot us down in this kind of fashion there’s no point at all having the meeting and I was going to do some work that was more productive rather than waste time around here. Somewhere in this discussion there was a situation on a roundabout where there was a system of wooden stakes that had been installed on it. Everyone wondered what they were. Someone actually identified them as stakes used to hold bodies still when the bodies are being cremated. That had everyone puzzled as to why they would want to put something gruesome like this in the middle of the roundabout in the town.

We were back discussing the hospitalisation of a young girl, what we’d need to do to make her stay as practical as possible but a gust of wind awoke me just as it began.

And there I was back at the hospital again, back as a young teenager in the Admissions section ready to be given a bed etc. While I was checking in another gust of wind sprung up outside awoke me and made me lose my train of thought.

Back at the hospital yet again trying to enrol this young girl onto a course of hospital treatment but just as we were filling in the forms yet another gust of wind awoke me while I was in the middle of counting something and it disappeared.

At another moment some woman wanted a sink or wash hand basin installing in her house so I had a word with someone whom I knew and took all the material down there ready for him to start but he never turned up. This woman did nothing but moan all the time about why he’d never turned up, what she was missing etc. In the end I sat down and began to do the installation but apparently that wasn’t good enough either. We had everything that we needed in the end in the same place, the electricity, the water, etc. We could screw the sink to a batten somewhere. I was doing my best to have the job done quickly but she was making so much of a nuisance of herself etc that it was just making it impossible. Even doing things like asking her to read me the M number off the top of the bolt – she just handed me the bolt and told me to look at it myself which wasted more time regardless of how impolite it was etc – all kinds of situation like that. In the end I just did the job any old how. I could have done a much better job that I did but it was just taking so long with her continual interrupting me etc so I was glad to leave the house afterwards.

And finally we were back trying to get this young teenage girl into hospital ready for treatment but the noise of the wind was such that it was making it impossible for anyone to hear what anyone else was saying to whoever. It was all becoming extremely complicated. We ended up having to experiment with a diesel multiple-unit, a modern type, having it flying just a couple of feet above the railway line to see whether it would fit underneath the infrastructure etc ready for it to come into service as quickly as possible. Again there was all kinds of confusion with the noise of the wind and no-one could hear anyone else. We were having real difficulty completing these reports.

All of that and, for the first time, not a single person whom I recognised. That was disappointing. It’s been ages since Castor put in an appearance so I imagine that she’s now gone for good along with the Vanilla Queen whom I met in the Arctic in 2018. But it would be nice to see Zero or TOTGA again.

Usually though, it seems to be my immediate family who keep on appearing.

With going out to visit my neighbour this afternoon I had a strip-down wash (I’m not up to climbing into the bath for a shower after my fall the other day) and then changed all the bedding at long last.

Back in the bathroom I went one better than Dave Crosby. I’m not sure why because there’s no danger of me having the ‘flu for Christmas because Isabelle the district nurse came by to give me my ‘flu injection.

However, there could be several other reasons why I’ll probably not end up feeling up to par. But I won’t be looking in my rear view mirror and seeing a police car because I can’t drive these days.

Before I went to my neighbour’s, I put the bedding and a few other things into the washing machine and then at my neighbour’s, I showed her the letter that I’d written.

She suggested a few amendments so I’ll retype it later and then post it tomorrow if I succeed in making it to the shops. She also mentioned that we’ve been invited to another neighbour’s tomorrow lunchtime.

Back here I took the washing out of the machine and then shook my head wondering how I’ve managed to survive as long as I have.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the struggle that I had a couple of weeks ago to take a basket full of damp clothes to the clothes airer. When I came to Granville I bought a little trolley-type of thing, basically a plank with 4 castors, because I thought that I’d left the big one back on the farm.

As it happens, I hadn’t. It was in the back of Caliburn so I left the new one in a cupboard here. So today, I fetched it out, put the basket of clothes onto it, and then pushed it along with my crutches. If only I’d done that last time.

After that I came back in here and finished off all of the notes for the second radio programme and then went for tea – fried rice with some of those Chinese whatsits.

When they run out and I can’t buy any more, I’ll have a go at making them. Some of the stuffing that I make for my stuffed peppers maybe made a little differently and I can buy some of that thin brick pastry on-line. It should be interesting to see how they turn out

And that’s it for tonight. The wind has dropped so I might well have a decent sleep tonight in my nice clean bedding. And then depending on how I feel, I’ll head on the bus to St Nicolas and the shops to see what’s happening there.

It’ll do me good to go out and about

Tuesday 29th August 2023 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… one of those dreams that really ought to be turned into a film. One that went on for ever and ever during the night.

It’s a pity that I can’t remember word-for-word exactly what went on during these voyages because if I could and I could write it all down I’d be sitting on a fortune in royalties.

But at least it explains why I had another miserable night where I struggled to wake up this morning. Beat the first alarm I did, but I would have liked not to.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I had to let the nurse into the building. He’s coming to check up on my neighbour again.

Most of the day has been spent sorting out the paperwork and filling in forms for the hospital. You’ve really no idea of the stuff that they need, and then I had to track it all down.

There was also the issue of trying to find out exactly where I ought to be going. I don’t think that I’ve ever encountered a hospital as large as this one. The building where I needed to be took some tracking down.

As it happens, it’s right across the road from where there’s a Metro station on a direct line from Paris Montparnasse. That means that if whoever it is who comes to meet me fails to do so, I can make my way there on my own in a reasonable fashion.

While I was sorting everything out, the hospital actually rang me. They asked if I could come any earlier for my appointment. I replied that allowing for trains and connections, I should be able to be there earlier, but who knows how the transport will pan out?

Something else that I did today was to go one step further than Dave Crosby. Probably because I had the flu for Christmas I wasn’t feeling up to par and it increased my paranoia, like looking in my mirror and seeing a police car.

And then I attacked the dictaphone nots. I was watching Morton play last night. They were absolutely awful and turned over quite easily by the team against whom they were playing. Everyone was in a state of shock. On the climb back up to the steps of the Supporters dressing room the supporters were saying all kinds of things about how they didn’t believe the result of what was happening. One guy just sat on a step right by the door totally speechless. It was difficult to pass him to go in so I left him and went for a walk around the grandstands. When I came back he was still there so I said some platitude like “come on guy, let’s go inside. We’re not doing any good sitting here” and took him inside the Supporters room where he sat down and began this really huge inquisition about what was going wrong with the team.

I had the dream that I mentioned just now – another one of these enormous dreams about a film last night. We were in the USA, me, my friend from South Carolina and another girl. He went off somehere and I arranged to meet him at LIDL, somewhere like that. The the girl and I, we were in Shrewsbury or Chester at the time discussing the commercialisation of the port at Chester. That was my task. She was a student who was interested in developments on the waterfront for artistic purposes. I explained the river and canal network in Cheshire and how we intended to bring it all together so commercial freight would end up in Chester and distributed by the rivers and canals to the towns, and how their produce would come to Chester and be exported on sea-going ships. This chat went on for ages. In the end I sent her off after my friend and arranged to meet at LIDL where I’d do my shopping. I turned up at LIDL but the place was tiny. I couldn’t move around in it. I was so fed up that I decided that I’d take the bus into town to do my shopping there. Off I went, but I suddenly realised that I’d arranged to meet everyone at LIDL, I didn’t have my shopping bag or my money and I was on a bus into the centre of town. There was a discussion in which i was interested about developments in workshops and safety systems for electrics. I explained that in my father’s workshop he had a system of push bars against all the machinery. If he tripped and fell, he’d fall against a push bar, that would hinge with the force of his body and cut off the power. Everyone was interested in the design of this so I was talking about it when my friend came along and we met by accident. We ended up talking about this system. I asked him where the girl was. He said that she hadn’t turned up and he hadn’t met her. From there, there was a meeting taking place to do with abortion. The guy running it was clearly in favour of abortion and there was a group there trying their best to manipulate the results and figures to reveal statistics in a different fashion who were anti-abortionists. It turned out that this girl was actually there, one of the anti-abortionists who was involved in working on these figures. This led to a confrontation right at the end. The guy who was promoting this meeting and the idea of abortion was her father. They had a confrontation in the middle of the hall. That’s how my film finished. It was another one of these long ones that went on for hours and was so realistic again.

Later on I was back in that dream. I’d been taken to a restaurant as some kind of gesture to compensate me for what had happened to me at that meeting. The guy was making crèpes and showed me how he made them. I had the idea to roll them out even thinner, which I did. We cooked them quickly and they curled up into a kind-of ball. He coated a couple with ice cream and chocolate and a couple more with fruit. We chatted about his crèpes. I was sitting there talking to my friend, I don’t know who it was. My friend was asking me if I’d seen a survey in the handbook that needed to be filled in. I said that I’d seen it at a glance so he told me to have another look because it was full of things about environmental concerns and how a school had been built to trap everyone in a certain valley so that their children would go to this elementary school. It was turning into some kind of environmental and ecological disaster. There was another school where in order to make life more healthy for children they’d bulldozed absolutely everything around it. They’d made a time-lapse photo of all of the demolition that went on around the school. It really was the most extraordinary thing because it looked as if you could see the whole demolition process taking place from space at an extraordinary rapid rate of knots. It looked frightening how they’d simply bulldozed whole neighbourhoods of houses to make an environmental haven for these children. I wasn’t surprised that everyone was so upset about all of this

And then later on I was back in this dream again, something to do with serving orange juice but I can’t remember it now. But nevertheless, it was all extremely exciting, everything that flowed from this dream.

Tea tonight was my taco roll with some of the leftover stuffing. Quite nice again too, it was. Quite delicious and even better after having marinaded overnight in the herbs and spices. There’s a little left which I’ll be adding to a curry on Thursday.

Then we had the football, Penybont v Cardiff Metropolitan. For the first half hour it was played at 100mph but gradually Penybont asserted themselves.

They played some really nice and stylish football at times and had some wretched luck, with the woodwork and the Met’s keeper Alex Lang making a couple of dramatic interventions.

The Met had a couple of moments too but nether side managed to score the important goal to break the deadlock.

But I felt really sorry for the Met’s centre-forward Tom Vincent. Having been booked earlier, he was booked again and thus sent off for kicking Billy Borge in the head. But it was extremely harsh because Borge dived in for a ball at thigh-height that Vincent was attempting to play. Borge shouldn’t have had his head in there at all. If anyone’s play was dangerous, I’d have said that it was his.

So now I’m off to bed, ready to fight the good fight around the SNCF and Paris tomorrow. I’m not looking forward to this trip at all but I’ll have to do the best that I can. It might not solve anything but it won’t solve anything at all if I don’t go.

Thursday 15th June 2023 – IF I EVER LAY …

… my hands on whoever rang my doorbell at some stupid time of the morning, like 04:00 or something like that, they won’t ever do it again.

What made matter worse was that despite what I’d said yesterday, I didn’t go to bed until quite late. Much later than usual in fact.

And when I did, I couldn’t sleep for ages afterwards. And then we had all that nonsense.

At least, I thought that it was the doorbell because that’s exactly what it sounded like. But there was always the possibility that I’d dreamt it. I’m not ruling that out.

And strange as it may seem, I was up early too. When the alarm went off I was sitting on the edge of the bed looking for my clothes. That was something I hadn’t done for a good few days.

After the medication I had another slow start to the day and it wasn’t until I’d had my mid-morning coffee and fruit bun that I was able to start work – that is, when I wasn’t curled up asleep on the chair.

And by the time that I knocked off I was in Paradise River poring over the diaries of George Cartwright, who in 1775 was the first European known to have visited the area and ” sent the people on shore to build the wharf on a point which I named Paradise”.

However what intrigues me is Carl Rafn’s “Antiquities Americanae” from 1846. I’ve been poring over them as well.

Rafn was the first scholar to take seriously the Norse Sagas of the visits to Vinland and his translations refer to a visit by Thorvald to an area and who was so pleased with this place, that he exclaimed “This is beautiful and here I should like well to fix my dwelling”

Thorvald describes in great detail the area where he is and it corresponds pretty much with what I see on a map when I look at Sandwich Bay. In fact, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when I was near there I went out in a small boat to look at the geographical features along the coast there.

Rafn though made several miscalculations and ended up putting the Norse ashore in Massachusetts, something that confused people for 70 years.

Firstly, he calculated the distance that a Norse longboat would sail in an hour, multiplied that by 24 and then by the number of days to arrive at their destination.

However, in my opinion, it’s out of the question that, experienced sailors as they were, they would have sailed into unfamiliar waters and kept going through the hours of darkness. They would almost certainly have heaved to until daylight.

Secondly, Rafn calculated the distances based on the speed of a longboat. However the Sagas state that they bought a boat from a trader who put in to Erik the Red’s camp at Brattahlid.

It wasn’t until they carried out some excavations at Roskilde in the early 1960s that they came across a Norse trading vessel, or Knǿrr and that has completely different sailing characteristics

The physiotherapist came round this afternoon and had me walking up and down the stairs. And it’s difficult, that’s for sure. Nothing like as good as it was two weeks ago and that’s a real disappointment. I thought that I was making decent progress until that latest fall.

But still, no matter how bad I’m feeling, there are always people worse off than me.

With him coming I went and had a shower. And while I was at it I went one better than Dave Crosby. probably because I had the ‘flu for Christmas and it was increasing my paranoia. Sill, I’m not giving in an inch to fear because I promised myself this year – I feel like I owe it to someone.

This evening I was stuck for an idea for tea. But having a rummage around I came across some vegan bolognaise sauce with soya mince that I’d completely forgotten. The expiry date on the jar was about 100 years ago but in for a penny in for a pound and it was actually quite nice.

There’s half a jar left so I’ll have that next week with some more pasta and veg.

But a tragedy here – I’ve run out of brussels sprouts now after all of that pile I bought and froze at Christmas. I mustn’t forget to buy some more at the weekend, but I have a feeling that ready-frozen ones might have to do.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone from the night. Whenever whoever it was rang my doorbell, if that’s what it was, I was in Canada again, down at the end of a headland looking out to sea where there was another island. There was some kind of pond there. We’d measured it and it was 10kms across and ever so deep. There were all kinds of grids around, all marked with yellow paint as if there was something going to happen to them. There was talk about this island joining up with the part of Canada where we were. That would have happened much earlier had there not decided to be a vote on it. We made some kind of remark about how people complained that it was democratic where we were and not democratic on the island yet the agreement to unite had been taken by the mainland without any kind of vote at all yet the people on the island had been allowed to have a vote on it. We thought that to be extremely ironic.

Later on I was doing something for some kind of investigation. We had to go to Edinburgh so I went on the back of someone’s motorcycle. When we arrived in Edinburgh I couldn’t remember my way. Nothing in Edinburgh looked like anything that I ever knew. We became confused at a road junction on this motorbike and ended up on the pavement trying to work out our way. There were all kinds of people hanging around. The driver of the motorbike said “put your feet up on the pedals and hang on tight. These people don’t look very safe to me”. We set off still going the wrong way and came to an old house. We went in but couldn’t find what we wanted and lost our way again. We ended up back in a Government library with all kinds of old documents. We described this house to someone. he came up with several suggestions and showed us photos but none seemed to resemble this particular house, situated set back from the road on a corner by a railway line with a statue in front. While we were there we started to go through their records for something else. I found loads of interesting things like squardrom flying books from World War I. The papers we wanted we couldn’t find. They kept bringing us files telling us that these were the correct ones but none of the references matched. But I was having a whale of a time going through here reading all the old notebooks, pencils and Court reporters’ books. I thought that I could have moved in and lived here with all of this but none of this was actually finding the information that they wanted. He kept on coming up with stuff that he said was the correct reference but when I looked at it, it was nothing like the information that we wanted.

So now I really am going to bed. But I’ll change the bedding first now that I’m all clean and tidy. It’ll be nice to have some clean bedding. I really ought to change it more often than I do. Usually it walks into the linen basket on its own so I need to organise myself better than I do.

But not much hope of that. As Guildenstern said in “Hamlet” “dreams indeed are ambition, for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream”

But as an anonymous writer once said about the father of George Cartwright whom we discussed earlier,
He had a genius for encountering difficulties

Friday 28th April 2023 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

… day I’ve had today. I’ve actually spent most of it asleep.

And that’s no surprise because I had another miserable night. Apart from the fact that I took an absolute age to go off to sleep again, I awoke at about 04:20 and just lay there vegetating for ages.

The alarm goes off at 07:00 these days and at 06:55 I found the energy (I’m not sure where from) to haul myself out of bed to beat the alarm. And that was probably the most energetic thing that I did.

The nurse came round as planned and took my blood sample. She had to take three goes before she could extract any blood from me. This is becoming ridiculous. I really am beginning to hate all of this.

It took me a while to come round into the Land of the Living enough to book all of my transport arrangements for my trip to Leuven. To my dismay my Old Fogey’s Railcard has expired and I’m having to pay full price for my travel, and I’m not ‘arf noticing the difference.

There are several factors contributing to the extra expense, apart from the absence of railcard

  1. I’m coming home on a Friday, not a Saturday
  2. I’m not taking the cheap route via Lille because I can’t walk quickly enough between one railway station and the other. Lille Flandres and Lille Europe are situated a good 10 minutes away from each other for a fit person. God knows how I’ll cope on my crutches if I tried that
  3. The two cheap morning trains from Brussels, at 07:13 and 07:43, are fully booked and there are no seats available

And as for the last couple of times, I’m not staying at my usual hidey-hole either. It’s a long walk from the station and also if I want anything to eat it’s a long walk to the shops. There’s an Ibis Budget at the back of the station where I’ve stayed a few times, and that’s where I’ll be hanging my hat.

It took ages to sort everything out though. I went to pay with my Belgian bank account only to find that the app has to be upgraded. That took an age and when it had finally installed itself correctly the order had timed out and I had to start again.

And then there were issues with the SNCF app. That needed upgrading too and now that it’s done, it won’t open on my old phone. I’ve had to do everything off the computer and I’ll need to print out my tickets.

This afternoon the first thing that I did was to have a shower. I was feeling quite cold and I don’t know why and I thought that a shower would warm me up.

While I was in the bathroom I went one step further than David Crosby, gave in an inch to fear and cut my hair. Probably because I had the flu for Christmas, I reckon.

Back in here I fell asleep yet again, and that was that for quite considerable time. And when I awoke I really felt so miserable. It took for ever for me to pull myself together. I don’t know what’s the matter with me. I’ve been doing so well just recently.

There was time to listen to the dictaphone notes to find out where I’d been during the night. At one point I was asleep but awake in a kind of dream watching something happen in front of my eyes on the road while I was standing behind a hedge on the edge. It turned out to be a scene from a sequel to a well-known film – a kind-of Lord Of The Rings or The Hobbit or something. It turned out to be a kind-of trailer for a brief film where the producer shows his top-20 moments from his top favourite sequels to well-known films of that nature. We were there watching bits from The Hobbit, Harry Potter, this kind of film until he finally came round to his n° 1. everyone was praying that it wasn’t a certain scene but I didn’t get to see what it was because I awoke just as it was about to start the final scene. Just my luck

Did I dictate the dream … “no, you didn’t” – ed … about being on the taxis last night, having worked really hard with some really long hours. There was a lot of work to do around the Market Drayton area. One of the drivers phoned the people concerned and asked if we were still on for this work. They replied “yes” so he set off to Market Drayton. The way he went was down towards Woore and then across the old road to Knighton, that way. A way that I know well from my perambulations around that area in my youth. We were talking about some other people, Nerina and I, who we knew who had bought some kind of place out there. I had a couple of hours to spare so someone dropped me off at a little sweetshop-type of place. I went in and the guy said “you want upstairs”. I went up these incredibly steep stairs and found myself in this beautiful clean, tidy apartment. It was where one of my taxi drivers and his wife lived. They certainly weren’t the type to have had somewhere that was absolutely spotless. I was intending to try to ask if I could have a bath but when I saw how neat and tidy their house was I had second thoughts because I didn’t really want to mess it up.

And then one of my drivers had been out doing taxi jobs in Northern Ireland with my brother. They’d been away for a while. The guy who had organised it all came back and said that he would refuse to work with my brother again. He began to write out a whole list of everything that went wrong including my brother throwing some mushroom fried rice at him. I had to go off to do something. By the time I came back there was an enormous list. Part of the list was showing that everything in Northern Ireland had increased in price and how much was the increase. This list was enormous, on several pages. The guy in charge of everything said “I think that I’ve decided that I’m going to stop doing the cable car work from now on”. Another guy – a driver – rummaged through his bag and began to pull out things saying “I don’t need this, do I? I don’t need that now, do I?”. Something was strange about what he was pulling out so we had a look at it. It was actually the mirror arm of a car. Why he’d have one of those spare I really don’t know. In the end everyone calmed down and that left me and another driver to do the work for the night. I could see that there was going to be a lot of sorting out that needed to be done over the next couple of days to try to keep everyone happy again and try to stimulate some more business without running into some ridiculous costs.

By the looks of things I’ve been spending a lot of time back on the taxis just recently. And it’s not wishful thinking, I promise you that. For a while it was good fun and quite an enjoyable job but it eventually took on a life of its own and swept us all along in the momentum.

Tea tonight wasn’t as nice as it might have been and I don’t know why. The potatoes didn’t really make nice chips, I suppose, and the sausage rolls somehow didn’t inspire me all that much. My salad was nice though and I’ll have another one of those tomorrow.

Shopping is on the cards so I’ll buy some more spuds for chips for tea tomorrow but the freezer now has some room in it and I’m wondering whether a bag of frozen chips might be a better idea in this case. I shall have to look into that.

There’s more frozen stuff that’s been in the freezer since the Dawn of Time too and I’ll empty a few more bits and pieces to have with my chips and salad tomorrow. But right now I’m off to bed. It’s been a horrible day as I said earlier and the best thing to do is to forget about it and start again tomorrow

It’s been said quite often that no amount of alteration can sometimes change something that’s clearly not working, and it’s better to forget it and start again. I suppose that that’s probably why I have a younger brother.

Wednesday 22nd February 2023 – MY LEFTOVER CURRY …

… was delicious tonight. And plenty of it too. There was quite a backlog of food building up in the fridge that needed to be eaten and if I were honest, I needn’t really have added in a small potato to lengthen it

In fact, I’ve had plenty to eat today. The other home-made bun from the weekend, just as delicious as the first one on Monday. And then at lunchtime some soup from the container that I’d opened yesterday.

This afternoon I was invited out for a drink by the President of the Residents’ Committee of the building, at which there were a few nibbles, and then my curry tonight.

Being invited out by the President was interesting because even though the final act of purchase of the apartment downstairs hasn’t been signed, it seems that I’ve already been accepted into the inner circle.

Several of the apartments are rented out, several more are second residences so there aren’t too many that are full-time owner occupiers. What cheers up the people here is that the apartment that I’m buying will revert from a tenanted apartment to an owner-occupied apartment and that’s a rare reversal of fortunes for a modern seaside resort.

There are far too many apartments being sold out of private stock and into holiday accommodation and that’s killing so many coastal towns, and that’s mainly due to these casual letting websites that are now being swamped by exploitive casual racketeers.

But that’s a subject for another time. I’m much more interested in what happened last night. And there was quite a lot too because it was yet another night where I didn’t have a great deal of sleep, lying there tossing and turning and hoping that I would drop off at some time.

And I must have done too because there were plenty of travels that must have kept me busy. There was an aeroplane that had a pilot and a small crew on board. For some unknown reason the aeroplane started to dive forward towards the ground. Someone went into the cockpit and found that the pilot was asleep. They awoke him and he carried on flying. The exact same thing happened again. He’d fallen asleep again. The third time when they were trying to shake him awake they found that there was some kind of insect in the cabin. For some reason or other this insect had a power to put people to sleep. They managed to trap this insect and remove it from the cabin. From then on the flight proceeded quite normally just as it should without any problem.

And then there was someone in Jersey who had an agricultural business but had lost it for one reason or another. He had problems with the new purchaser or operator of the business and the business reverted back to him. He was obliged to carry on. I can’t remember any more about this now.

Someone wanted a change of room last night in a hotel or something and insisted on seeing the manager. What had happened was that there were some roadworks on the main road and the traffic had been diverted down a diversion which just happened to go past the front of the hotel which of course would keep everyone awake at night. There was nothing that the proprietor of the hotel could do about it obviously but he received all the blame for what was happening.

Later on I’d been to Shavington, Vine Tree Avenue, to visit my old house where I lived. When I left I was being watched all the way up the street while something was happening. I thought that the easiest way to do this was to nip in via a neighbour’s house and over the fence into the back and disappear that way. In the end I ended up knocking at the door of this neighbour. She was absolutely delighted and invited me in. Of course it was someone whom I didn’t really like and with whom I didn’t really get on but she was there making me welcome. We talked about bees and honey etc. She fetched her husband and phoned her children to say that I’d come round. I could see that rather than having just gone this way for a short cut I’d be here for a week if I wasn’t careful. I just couldn’t find a way of breaking off this meeting and leaving. Interestingly the names of the children weren’t the names of the children in real life. They were different.

Interestingly, when I lived in Shavington there were two families that were rather infamous for their lack of personal hygene and social niceties. And during the night I managed to find the address of one of them that was being occupied by the other.

At another point during the night a girl was presumed hanged herself or being untied by this snake during the song “Delilah”. The snake was slowly reaching its grasp. It looked as if there was going to be miles of arm of this snake left over by the time the snake had finished doing what it was intended to do with her. And if you can make any sense of what that was all about then please let me know because I don’t have a clue.

But when the alarm went off this morning I was having a cup of coffee. Not a real cup of coffee but a virtual one. I was actually back home. My mother had had to go to the shops for something or other. We kids had to get up. I was there with 2 of my siblings. We were looking at some notices that were plastered everywhere about words that we no longer used in everyday conversation. There was something about if Belgium and Italy elect Socialist governments this weekend it will be a first. Things like that. I didn’t have a chance to find out what was going on about it because the alarm went off.

Hardly a surprise that I was totally exhausted after all of that.

After the medication and checking the mails and messages I rounded up the music for another radio programme that I’ll be preparing at some point. I don’t want to get too far ahead with the text of the programme because, as I’m finding out these days, more and more of the artists featured in my programmes are shuffling off this mortal coil and playing in that great gig in the sky which means that I have to keep on amending my programmes.

On the other hand, I need to keep some programmes all written up and ready. They came in handy when I was in hospital last autumn and there’s always the possibility that I’ll be in there again.

There was a pause for my lovely toasted bun, and another pause for the soup at lunchtime. In between, I tidied up a little here and there around the apartment ready for when the cleaner came. I also cut my hair and had a shower. I can climb so much easier into the bath these days so the physiotherapy is obviously working.

This afternoon while the cleaner was here I wrote up a few notes for the programme that I’ll be preparing on Monday and I’ll be doing the rest at some time in the near future. If I’m lucky I might even have the programme done before Monday too and then I can have a day off.

So having been entertained and having eaten my curry I’m off to bed for an early night. I need it too after the events of the last few days. Every now and again I go through these phases of having some really bad nights and by the looks of things I’m in the middle of another one.

Perhaps I ought to go out and about for a walk more often and get some exercise. Then I might be tired enough to go to sleep.

Friday 23rd December 2022 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… miserable, depressing, dismal day today.

This is probably the worst that I’ve had for years. Not only did I fail dismally to beat the second alarm, I have spent most of the day curled up on my seat not moving, and even asleep for considerable periods.

The fact is that moving is so much effort. That’s part of the problem. Instead of things easing up the more I walk, things seem to be deteriorating. Being in an awkward position with my right leg, I now have aches in my right foot that weren’t there before.

And when I try to ease the knee joint, I just have a pain in my back. So I’ve no idea what’s happening here.

And just walking around is becoming pretty much impossible. I may well have treated myself to a shopping trolley but I wonder if I’m going to have the opportunity to use it.

Having said yesterday how much of a better night I’d had and how much I was looking forward to another one, it goes without saying that last night was quite miserable and is probably the reason why I was so exhausted.

Although I was asleep early, I wasn’t asleep for long and spent several hours later tossing and turning around trying to make myself comfortable – without any appreciable degree of success. It ws for that reason that I wasn’t rushed to leave the bed this morning, although any excuse will probably do.

As for work and the like, all I’ve done today is to have a shower, cut my hair (the first time since late September) and ice my sponge cake. The icing didn’t work particularly well, but then again it never really does. I don’t have the hang of doing the icing. However with having let the cake cool down overnight, at least the icing didn’t go all over the place and slide off.

The chemist came as well and brought me a couple more injections. With there being an increased doze, the price has gone through the roof.

Tea tonight was pasta with falafel and it was quite delicious as usual. The freezer is slowly thinning out and if I’m not careful I might even be able to fit these frozen carrots in there instead of leaving them in the ridge’s freezer compartment. I’m really going to have to buy a different, bigger freezer.

Next plan was to type out the dictaphone notes. I was somewhere in Europe planning on travelling. It was the mdweek sometime and there were a few people loitering around who were travelling too. We ended up standing by a bus stop somewhere in the street. Far below us, lower down in the street, a door opened and a train came through. I said to these people that if they want to catch a train they were standing in the wrong place. This is a bus station. We all picked up our things and moved a bit further down the hill where this other group of people were waiting. There was a huge crowd there. This train pulled in and I swarmed on board. I couldn’t see any of these other people so I wondered if they were all having some kind of fun at my expense or whether they were still going by bus regardless or something. I felt that I was the only one of this group of people who had been together at the beginning who had actually boarded. Someone else said something and I realised that a girl and her daughter had boarded the train too. The train set off and I was having to stand going to Montreal, that I had to stand until 23:00 tomorrow. For some reason we ended up around a Council estate in Crewe, the Brookhouse Drive estate, on foot. We were heading towards another bus stop. I was taking this girl and her daughter. I knew all the short cuts so I was taking them through these short cuts on this council estate. She said “we’ll get well ahead of all the others by the time we reach the bus stop”. We were having to go somewhere like Wybunbury or Audlem or Market Drayton. I couldn’t remember the times of the buses but I thought that even if there wasn’t a direct bus we could take a bus from here that would take us to Nantwich and then work our way on from that way to see how we could progress. But I was certain that we’d make progress and quite rapidly too going like this.

Later on I stepped right back into this dream again. We’d been on this train and I alighted at some point with this woman and her daughter. We were walking towards the bus stop to catch the bus to go the rest of the way. I remember hoping that my leg would hold out because I was starting to have these pains and cramps in my right leg again, the type that I have been having. I thought that this isn’t really the time to go down with a cramp like this when we are in between bus stops in a rush to catch the bus to take us further on.

And then I can’t remember very much about this but there was a woman who had run down some animal or something. She was extremely distraught. Some of my friends from Canada were in it but I don’t know why or what they were doing

Finally we had football. Y Fflint v Caernarfon. Y Fflint are on a woeful run despite having looked really good at the start of the season. They took the lead early in the game but gradually Caernarfon pulled themselves back into the game and equalised after 55 minutes.

But what a different story it might have been had the two stonewall penalties that I would have awarded to Y Fflint had been awarded by the referee. In fact I was convinced that there were times when I was convinced that the referee was officiating at a different game to the one that I was watching.

With 20 minutes to go, a couple of substitutions on either side ignited the game and we were treated to a really exciting spell of football as the game swung from one end to the other. A deciding goal was well on the cards but it was all a case of who would score it as either team looked quite likely.

Y Fflint’s centre forward from the Cote d’Ivoire had missed a couple of good chances and when another of his attempts was well-blocked by Josh Tibbetts in the Caernarfon’s goal just as we came up to injury time, I thought “here we go again” but Akpa-Akpro stuck out a foot and just about managed to divert it back to the far post where Larnell Cole sidefooted it into the net.

So justice was done because Y Fflint were in my opinion the better side and deserved something from the game, especially after some of the decisions that went again them.

Tomorrow I have to summon up some energy and tidy up as I’m expecting visitors. I’ve no idea how I’m going to do this after the past couple of days but I’ll have to do my best. Let’s hope that my best is good enough.

Wednesday 28th September 2022 – HERE WE ALL ARE …

hotel premiere classe parc des expositions roissy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… not sitting in a rainbow but sitting in a room in a Première Classe Hotel at the Parc des Expositions in the suburbs of north-east Paris.

And when I say “we”, I do mean “we” because I am not alone. And who I’m with and what I’m doing here, well, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow evening to find out.

That is, if things go according to plan. But they may well not because I have a start tomorrow morning at 04:45 and I’ll still be on the road at 04:00 the following morning too so trying to get some sense out of me at that time of morning is not going to be easy.

We shall have to see

So this morning I fell out of bed almost as soon as the alarm went off and compared to how things have been just recently, it was rather a rapid rising too.

After the medication I had several things to do that were quite urgent, namely to book myself a train and a bus. That was much more complicated than it ought to be too and in a few days time we really will be breaking new ground if it all comes off

All of this is necessary because there have been quite a few changes just recently things aren’t as they were and all of the changes are for the worse. It seems that, as usual, people are determined to go around sticking the batons dans les roues as they say around here and disrupting everyone’s progress.

But more of this anon.

Having done that and printed out my tickets for later next week, I finished off backing up the computer and then began the tidying and cleaning up.

A shower and a haircut were next and then I bleached everything as usual, washed the lino in the kitchen, finished off the packing and staggered off out.

A bus was there at the bus stop but I didn’t take it for the simple reason that it doesn’t go anywhere where I want to go, and the connections are all totally up the spout. It’s unbelievable what they have done with this stupid bus service.

So having exchanged a few pleasantries with a couple of my neighbours who were chatting outside, I headed off on foot for the town.

belle france la grande ancre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022As usual, I stopped at the viewpoint overlooking the port to see what was happening there and to check the camera.

Down there moored at the fish processing plant this morning is La Grande Ancre. We’ve been seeing quite a lot of her just recently going out and back to the Ile de Chausey. She’s usually loaded up with fishing gear but she doesn’t seem to have much on board today.

A little further back tucked around the corner is Les Bouchots de Chausey and a couple of even smaller boats.

Plenty of people on the quayside working because there seems to be a considerable amount of shellfish deposited on there this morning

Meanwhile, over at the ferry terminal is Belle France, one of the ferries that go over to the Ile de Chausey. I wonder if her presence there has anything to do with the coach that’s parked at the terminal building.

briscard trawler chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And yet even more activity over at the chantier naval this morning

Yesterday we saw that all of the boats that had been in there just recently, apart from Briscard, had gone back into the water and she was then the only one still there.

This morning though, she seems to have acquired another companion. There’s another trawler that has come in to join her. By the looks of things from here, she could possibly be Charlevy but I’m really not sure. She was in there for a while a month or so back so I wouldn’t have expected her to be back at the moment.

yacht sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile, in other news, there’s plenty going on out in the bay in front of the port.

It looks very much as if a couple of the sailing schools are going out and about early this morning. There are a couple of kayaks too.

They aren’t going to have a very good day for it though because it’s threatening rain right now.

The walk down into town was agonising as I was expecting but at least I was in time for the bus, along with a whole crowd of schoolkids. But I could at least grab hold of a seat and have a rest.

84567 gec alstom regiolis gare de Granville railway station Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The bus dropped me off at the station in plenty of time so there was quite a wait for the train.

The coffee machine was out of order yet again (or, more likely, “still”) so there was nothing to do except sit outside and watch them shunting a train around across the station.

At least the rain was holding off for now so it wasn’t too depressing.

One added issue was that my electronic ticket wasn’t working but the ticket inspector was also waiting for the train so we had a chat about it. She inspected my receipt and said that it would be sufficient.

84557 gec alstom regiolis gare de Granville railway station Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The train pulled up a few minutes late and we swarmed aboard. There was quite a crowd gathered on the platform by now.

At first I had a pair of seats to myself but at Vire I had someone come to join me. I spent the journey backing up the computer from the data stick as far as I could, but the rattling and shaking of the train on a badly-laid line put a stop to it.

At Paris we all swarmed out again and I hit the streets in something of a wave of agony on my way to the metro station.

Going down the steps to the platform was bad but that was nothing to what happened at the Gare du Nord. The escalator was out of order and the climb upstairs on the narrow walkway was agony and I was blocking the path for just about everyone.

Did I mention that I have much more luggage with me than usual?

At the Gare du Nord when I eventually arrived there I wandered off for the train that would take me to the airport. That’s by far the easiest way to find the hotel as all of the directions seem to start off there and, furthermore, there’s even a service bus – the 349 – that passes within 400 metres from where I need to be.

When I arrived, the coffee machine was out of order as well and that’s even more depressing news but they made me a coffee for which I was very grateful.

Holed up in my little room, I had tea. Last night I’d made some rice, veg and my taco roll and I’d put them in a plastic container. For an ad-hoc, impromptu tea it was really nice, especially washed down with a couple of tangerines.

And now I’m off to bed. I’m not looking forward at all to this early start but needs must when the devil drives.

Friday 12th August 2022 – GONE!

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And never called me “mother”!

When I went out this afternoon for my walk, I noticed that Victor Hugo, the Channel Islands ferry boat, has disappeared again. Gone on its travels, probably.

According to the fleet radar, she left at 08:12 and arrived in St Helier at 10:20, which is pretty quick going. And there she sits even as we speak. She doesn’t seem to be in any rush to come back home again.

Here’s hoping that the ferry service starts up again soon.

Something else that is gone! And never called me “mother” either is a certain letter.

This afternoon I have just heaved a rather large shark into the swimming pool by sending a letter of 1573 words to the Hospital’s Director of Medical Services.

Both Liz and Alison, to whom I showed it before I sent it, told me that they reckoned that it was too long. But you know me – never write 100 words when 1000 will do the job just as well.

If the past is anything to go by, which it usually is, the net result of my letter will be “nothing at all” but one can live in hope, even if I end up dying in despair. Some things need to be said, some points need to be underlined and (more importantly) the hospital needs to know in precise detail exactly how I feel.

What they do then is their own affair of course, but at least I’ve done all that I can and I can’t really do any more, much as I would like to. We’ll just sit back and see what happens now. It’s in the lap of the Gods.

But it goes to show the value of keeping a blog, and an indexable, searchable one too because although it took up a lot of time, I could come up with dates, places and resumés of conversations. And it’s that kind of thing that can kill any argument stone-dead before it even starts.

So retournons à nos moutons as they say around here, the alarm going off found me dictating into the dictaphone. So yes, I must have gone off on some travels at some point. And that’s despite a night that was later than it ought to have been.

After the medication I went and had a shower and, because I’m feeling under par due no doubt to having had the ‘flu for Christmas, I cut my hair.

Having dealt wit that I came back in here and, managing to avoid falling asleep, I transcribed the dictaphone notes from last night. I’d gone to the library to look at a book. The Reference Library was extremely untidy. I was searching through the shelves looking for this particular book and laying down one or two others that I might need when one of the workers came past. It was one of the bad-tempered ones and she was saying that the place looked so untidy. She said “get it tidied” to me and presumably one or two other people, members of the public, so I said a few words to her and she said a few words to me and wandered off. In the end what we did was to start to pick up the loose books lying around and stuffing them in the shelves any old how. Of course in libraries there’s a certain order and a certain position to respect, particularly with reference books so we thought that that would give then ten times more work to do when they come to sort it out. A group of us began to talk about this and said how bad it was here. One of them asked me if I’d like to go to the library at Rennes, a young girl, quite nice. I wasn’t sure at first. One of the other people there had been to the library at Rennes with her. She said that she had some spare tickets still so in the end I agreed that I’d go with her. I don’t know why I needed too much persuading to do something with a young girl. The subject came round to religion. I said that I didn’t have a religion which scandalised them so I told them the joke about me walking by a church and God sending down a thunderbolt which they thought was extremely funny.

Telling jokes again in a dream again?

Later on I’d been for a weekend away. I was already in the middle of a holiday. I was in New York somewhere and something had happened and I had to change hotel and had to change the style of the way that I look and the clothes that I was wearing so that I had a completely different look about me. For a couple of days I had to go away to Southport. I found myself standing outside the station and I had all mu luggage – my huge suitcase and my little suitcase, my 2 sacks with all my bedding. I thought “why on earth do I need all of this just for a weekend?” but it was too late. I was there now. I had to be careful about the trains and was wondering how I was going to manage to manhandle all this luggage. I’d gone over there to the station and borrowed a trolley. I put my bags on it and found that it would go up the steps quite comfortably and quite easily. That looked fine. As I reached the top I came to the steps to go down to the other side. These steps were totally different and I thought that this would be totally agonising going down here with all of this. I reached the bottom and found that the 2 bags with my bedding had gone. I don’t remember seeing them fall off. I wondered if someone had taken them. I couldn’t hang around because the train was coming so I took my 2 suitcases and boarded the train. It was crowded and people were moving my suitcases around as they came in and went out. Someone in the end squeezed them in a corner that upset a guy with a musical instrument. His musical instrument was there. The train gradually thinned out so I could rescue my suitcases. He made some kind of gesture to me which I thought might have been friendly but I didn’t know and this train continued rattling on its way to Southend.

Later on it was the graduation of my little girlfriend who worked on Saturdays in the library about whom I’ve talked quite often and I’d been invited which was a surprise. She obviously thought highly of me. Because of the Covid restrictions she could only invite 3 different households and then only 2 people from each household so I felt extremely honoured. We were at the University making all kinds of arrangements. Someone was asking for details about the graduation so I told them basically that there were only 3 households and 2 people from each one. They had a hard time trying to understand it which I didn’t understand. It seemed straightforward to me but I had to tell them probably a dozen times and they still hadn’t understood what was happening. They wanted to know why but it was quite obvious with Covid. We were back in the hall talking about things, talking about computing. Someone asked me if I’d ever used Flash. I replied “God yes I’ve used Flash on games and everything 15 years ago. I’ve certainly used it but I’ve never actually been inside it to see how it works or programmed anything with it”. Then we were talking about 15 years ago and how that was the heyday of the internet when all kinds of private people were making the internet work and it was a really exciting place to be before Corporate took over the internet.

It’s actually quite amazing that I could come out with something like that in a dream. Back 15 years ago the internet was a fun and exciting place to be. In those days small groups of talented individuals were leading the tech revolution. But now they’ve all either sold out, been suckered in or submerged into the Corporate internet world and these days the onlu small groups of individuals remaining are down in the depths of the dark web spending their time waging war on Corporate tech. There doesn’t seem to be the same “Internet Warriors” that we had back then and it’s made the internet a dreary place.

At least I’m still shining the torch for the lost generation of 15-20 years ago of blogs and personal websites and newsgroups. But I won’t be around for long. We need to turn the clock back and reclaim the internet.

Having had a lengthy pause to gather up my thoughts, I sat down and composed my masterpiece. And rather unlike Beethoven who spent 44 years composing and then the next 195 years decomposing, I spent just several hours on writing out my pièce de résistance.

As a result I ended up with a considerably late lunchtime fruit session while Alison and Liz were reviewing “War and Peace”.

Having fixed the typos I printed it out and put it in an envelope, putting the bill from May in an envelope to send back too, and eventually, later than usual, headed out for the town.

fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual, I stopped at the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to check the camera.

There’s a good view down onto the Fish Processing Plant from here and strangely, there were no boats tied up playing “musical ships” today. They must all be out and about somewhere offshore earning a living.

But they are certainly expected back sometime soon. If you look down onto the lover level down the ramp underneath the car park you’ll see the tractor and presumably the trailer that it pulls.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen that wandering through the town quite often loaded to the gunwhales with boxes of bouchots.

fire st pair sur mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Yesterday we saw the signs of a fire over the back of the church here in Granville.

Here, it’s the turn of St Pair sur Mer to catch fire. Even though it’s quite a distance away we can see the smoke billowing up from somewhere across the bay there at the back of the town.

And that reminds me. I did have a quick look through the local newspaper this morning but there was nothing at all in it about the fire yesterday. So that’s quite a mystery to me. It’s the kind of thing that you would expect to be reported.

Anyway, I wandered off down towards town.

burnt houses rue du midi Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While we’re on the subject of fire … “well, one of us” – ed … we mustn’t forget what happened here in the old town one Saturday evening a few months ago.

That was when the house in the middle here caught fire and went up like a Roman candle, taking the houses on either side with it.

We saw them weatherproof the houses (not that they needed to have bothered given the weather that we have been having) shortly afterwards and that’s how I found them today on my first trip to town after so many weeks.

It looks as if any talk about repairing them has been put on the … errr … back burner for a while, presumably while the insurance details are finalised.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022So while Victor Hugo has sailed off into the sunset – or, rather, sunrise – Marité is back in town.

She’s been absent for the last couple of days having a sail around the bay, usually coming back at the end of the evening long after I’ve been tucked up in bed with my glass of hot Wincarnis.

When I was younger I would go for the Phyllosan that fortifies the over-forties but they haven’t invented anything yet that will sixtify the over-sixties. But never mind. Sony has a product launch in mind for my generation. Soon they’ll be bringing out the Sony Walkframe.

That is something I could use as well as I staggered into town. I made it to the Post Office and posted my letters, having to remind someone in front of me who clearly has more problems then I do that when you’ve bought your price label for your letter, you need to take your letter off the scales, stick the label onto it and stick it in the post box instead of simply walking out of the building.

And you thought that I had problems.

So I dealt with the necessary, exchanging a few pleasantries with the woman in the queue behind me, and then headed for home.

kiddies roundabout place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022One of the things that I wanted to do was to check the kiddies roundabout.

With that article having been in the paper a couple of weeks ago even though the roundabout has been here for several weeks longer than that, I wanted to make sure that we were talking about the same machine.

So yes, by comparing photos this is indeed the one that came here a while back so I’m at a loss to explain why the local newspaper has only recently picked this up.

It must have been a quiet news day.

bar ephemere chez maguie place pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The climb up the hill was better than I was expecting – in that I actually did manage to make it home.

It was necessary for me to pause a couple of times to catch my breath and at one of those places I was overlooking Chez Maguie, the Bar Ephemère on the Place Pelley.

It’s still here, despite the best efforts of the residents in the new block of flats in the background to drive out of town everything that disturbs their peace regardless of how popular it might be with the people who were living in the town a long time before they moved in.

It’s quite popular too, with loads of people enjoying a drink. No-one on the boulodrome though. It was far too hot for that.

Round about here I fell in with a neighbour and we had a good chat. Then I pushed on for my final leg.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Before going in for my nice cold chocolate drink I went to look at the beach to see what was happening.

Being later than usual, the tide was well out so there weren’t too many people down there this afternoon. They must have called it a day. A few people here and there in the water which sounded like a good idea.

Back here I had an ice-cold glass of chocolate drink and then had a play around with some photos for a while.

Tea was pie and veg with gravy, in the hope of making yet more room in the freezer. I need beans and peas tomorrow and I’ve no idea where I’m going to put them

Right now, having had a mammoth diet all day of “Eloy” and “Ten Years After”, I’m going to bed ready for shopping tomorrow. And then a nice restful day followed by football on the internet later. The Welsh Premier League starts back up tomorrow afternoon.

And what will my letter to the hospital bring me? I imagine that it will be several weeks before I hear anything, if I hear anything at all. And I don’t think that anything will change. But there’s not much else that I can do. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I can’t keep going on like this.

Friday 8th July 2022 – BACK IN THE …

boats buoy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… same old routine now that I’m home. It didn’t take long, did it?

So while you admire several photos of the activity that is taking place out at sea this afternoon I shall regale you all with tales of my first day back at home.

But before I do, I’ll mention a couple of things that I forgot to say yesterday. Firstly, I cut my hair and secondly I’m 2kg lighter than I was before I set out. Maybe the two events are connected. I dunno.

Anyway, when the alarm went off, I was in no hurry to leave my bed and it was much more like 09:15 when I finally staggered out into the light. And I’ll probably do the same tomorrow too.

speedboat ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Having had my medication I downloaded … GULP … 47 sound files off the dictaphone, all of which will have to be transcribed at some point in the near future.

However, I did transcribe a couple of them that related to my travels last night. I was on another road trip. There was me, someone who might have been my youngest sister and a few other people. We were all in a car going places. For some reason one of these people was taking so long getting ready that in the end I ended up with a mouthful of her Pringles. She looked at me and asked “where did you get those Pringles?”. I replied “I don’t know”. The little girl laughed and said “they are your Pringles because you didn’t come”. I asked the little girl if she still had the notebook of where we were supposed to go. She couldn’t find it so I had to look back at the table where we were sitting. In the end she did find it and gave it back to us. I had to then get into the car and prepare to drive away. It was all a very happy, cheerful dream of lunchtime out on a road trip although I had a feeling that the circumstances around the trip were not so joyful.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Later on a girl called Judith (not the one we know) rang me up and asked me to pick her up somewhere across the Spanish border at Sinfin. I asked her what Sinfin was and she replied that it was a place. She couldn’t give me any more details and hung up. Just then another girl, a girl I used to know in Stoke on Trent, a small cheerful girl came round as I was going and asked if I could run her across the border to somewhere else. She got in and I drove her over there. I said that I had to go to pick up Judith. She replied that Judith was absolutely wasted. I explained that when she rang me up she didn’t sound too bad at all but this girl was quite insistent. I asked her if she knew where this place Sinfin was. She had no idea so I went back to the border where I thought that i’d speak to a guy in one of the bars to ask him. There was no-one around and when he came out he was busy. Following my instincts I drove off down this road and came across a cottage with the big word SINFIN written on the side. There was a girl asleep in the hallway so I walked in and shouted “taxi”. She jumped out of her skin. I said that i’d come for Judith. She replied ‘I don’t think that Judith’s here”. We had a chat about Judith and a chat about the place and a chat about the party that had gone on etc and I awoke right in the middle of it. I’d love to know how it ended.

yachts zodiac baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Most of the rest of the day has been spent dealing with the photos from July that i’d taken while I was away.

When I go out later I’ll be taking photos of course (if the camera works) so I need to know which number I’ve reached. There weren’t too many and I wasn’t in a rush. and dozing off for half an hour or so didn’t help much. And that after having a lie-in too!

There was the usual pause for breakfast of course, the remains of yesterday’s baguette sliced in two lengthways and stuck in the toaster. But no lunch. Having managed to lose some weight while I was away, I’m going to try my best to keep it off.

Not that I imagine that I’ll be very successful.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Rather later than usual, thanks to my little … errr … rest, I went out for my afternoon walk.

And as usual, just to show that I haven’t forgotten anything, I went over to have a look down onto the beach to see what was happening there.

It’s the holiday season right now. School has broken up for summer and so we can expect the crowds. And there were several people down there enjoying the sun.

And by the looks of things, it seems that a few people had even been brave enough to try their luck in the sea. However they managed to scramble out before I could take a photo of them in flagrante delicto.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Surprisingly there weren’t very many people out here on the path this afternoon so I didn’t have to dodge around anyone to avoid their germs.

Across the car park I went down to the end of the headland to look at what was happening there. There was someone down there having a fish from off the rocks but we didn’t see him catch anything.

What was puzzling me however was why he had decided to take his dog with him. There can’t have been very much of interest that would have attracted the dog’s attention and kept him amused.

The tide was well in today too so there wasn’t any room for anyone at the pèche à pied.

cabanon vauban person on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Nevertheless there was plenty going on out at sea and we have seen a few photos of the action too. There was much more too that I didn’t photograph.

And they had an audience too. As I watched, someone walking around on the lower path walked down to the bench by the cabanon vauban to have a good rest.

There were actually quite a few people down there on the lower path, including a rather bored toddler who was having something of a mini-tantrum. He wasn’t enjoying it.

But that’s a problem for himself and his parents. I cleared off along the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

philcathane chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Having been away for almost three weeks, I wanted to see what was going on in the port.

First … errr … port of call was the chantier naval, which had been quite busy before I left. What we had today (and yesterday because I saw her as I drove past) was Philcathane.

She’s looking quite smart and so I wonder if she’s had a new coat of paint while I’ve been away.

If you look closely you can see the Plimsoll Line on her beam. That’s some kind of weird complicated drawing with horizontal lines that indicate how she must ride in the sea, depending on the type of sea that she is to sail.

It’s always interesting to see a ship’s “WNA” (Winter North Atlantic) load line and see how it differs from any other line that is included in the Plimsoll Line. Those seas can be extremely rough and you don’t want a ship to be too low in the water in case it’s swamped.

belle france ferry terminal chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As for the rest of the chantier naval there isn’t anyone at all in there.

The last time that we were here, the chantier naval was occupied by L’Alize III Charles Marie II and Wavecat Express but they all seem to have gone back into the water. And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m keen to know what’s going on with Wavecat Express

Over at the ferry terminal we have Belle France and I’m not sure why because she won’t have time to make it over to the Ile de Chausey and back on this tide now and the next high tide will be late at night.

Her sisters however aren’t out there at the ferry terminal though so they are presumably out at the island.

les epiettes ch922443 cap pilar port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022No-one playing Musical Ships today so I wandered off down the path towards the inner harbour.

No trace of Marité today though. She has gone off for a trip out and about and is at Lorient even as we speak. She left Granville on 26th June, so I believe.

The boat that is there at her berth is, I think, Les Epiettes, the boat from the Ponts and Chaussées and over there on the right is the trawler Cap PIlar.

On the quayside they are erecting some marquees. Some time during the summer there’s a Festival of Working Sailing Boats and I wonder if they are preparing for that.

victor hugo chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022When we were here last before we set off on our trip, Victor Hugo wasn’t here.

But now, she’s back at her berth in the inner harbour. It looks as if they aren’t all that busy running out to the Channel Islands right now, which is a surprise.

Also over there is Chausiaise, the little freighter that runs out to the Ile de Chausey.

Back here I made myself a coffee and worked through the photos that I’d taken while I was out on my afternoon walk so that I would be up to date. The photos for June, I’ll deal with them in due course.

Tea tonight was pasta and a burger, and then I came in here to write my notes. Once they are on line I’ll be off to bed. No shopping tomorrow but I’ll walk down into town to buy a baguette, and see how I get on walking back up again. I don’t think that there will be an improvement but I hope that things aren’t worse.

Wednesday 23rd March 2022 – A FUNNY THING …

workman suspended on rope rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022 … happened on the way to the for … errr … Physiotherapist’s this afternoon.

There I was walking quietly along the Rue Couraye and suddenly a man dropped down out of the sky right in front of me.

At least, that’s what I thought, but on a closer inspection after he had picked up the paintbrush or whatever it was that he had dropped and was hoisted back up, I could see that he was on a rope.

Cleaning or painting the facade of the building here, I reckon, or doing something of a similar nature.

But fancy a safety harness. When I retiled my roof in the Auvergne I was perched about 50 feet up on a roof holding on with my feet as I nailed down the slates.

And another funny thing that happened was that I walked all the way up the hill in the Rue Couraye to the physiotherapist’s without feeling any agony and it’s been months and months since that’s happened. So what’s going on here?

There was a lot going on last night though. I was in bed early and, for a change, out like a light. Another struggle to raise myself from the dead, and after I’d had my medication and checked my mails and messages, I could listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been.

At first, I was at an interview with STRAWBERRY MOOSE on the radio. The presenter was an extremely dominant and aggressive type of personality who basically shouted at the crowd to make everyone settle down and listen to his story. It was certainly a new departure in radio to hear the way that this programme was being presented. I thought that maybe I could take a lesson from this when I’m presenting some other radio programme some time in the future. It was certainly different, telling everyone to “shut up and listen” and “he’s come all this way to give you this story and the least you can do is pay attention”. it was all quite aggressive

Later, I was at work in the office and the ‘phone rang. I had to bring the Escort estate into Brussels. They were selling it so I had to hunt through my drawers for all of the paperwork for it but I couldn’t find anything. There was nothing at all. The boss had said “make sure that you bring the paperwork because we don’t want to have to come up to your place to look for it”. There I was, looking for ages through my drawers and I couldn’t find it anywhere but then 2 people came in and heard that I was going into Brussels so could they come with me? They hopped in and I thought that i’d better go anyway otherwise I’ll be here all day and I still won’t have the paperwork. Off I set to drive. After I’d gone a few miles I found that I actually had the paperwork in my hand. Of course someone must have had the paperwork to have taken the Escort to be valued. I had that as I was driving. I ended up coming in from the direction of Oostende. I radioed in that I was there and asked where I had to go. They said “the Garage de France”. I asked where that was and they replied that it was near the Gare de Ouest. I didn’t have a clue where the Gare de Ouest was. As I came closer to the office I dropped off these 2 people and stuck my head inside a café. She knew where the place was and she told me but the directions that she gave me didn’t make any sense. Then she said the name of a square where it was. I thought to myself “I wish that I’d brought my GPS in out of my own car and stuck it in the Escort to take it there. I could have solved this problem in 5 minutes had I done that”.

And then I was back in work again. I don’t know if I’d dictated the story of the Ford Escort estate being sold but later I was back in the office. I had a pile of paperwork that I’d picked up on the way in that needed to be sorted. I took it into the office and one of the chauffeurs came up to me and said in one of these high-pitched little baby voices “what’s little Eric got there?”. So I replied “some paperwork”. He asked “what’s little Eric going to be doing with it?” and I replied “nothing whatsoever”. This conversation was on the verge of getting out of hand. In the end the boss came along so as I was in earshot I said to Jef (it’s here, it has a date-stamp on it, it’s been received, it’s been registered, so why don’t you clear off?” or something like that. The boss came over, looked at the papers, took them off me and put them out for sorting. There was no chair at my desk but there were several other chairs dotted around with files on them so I went to take the files off one so I could have a chair to sit. Someone else said “there’s a spare chair up here” but I replied “this one down here will do me”.

At another point I was with one of these American folk singers, someone like Gene Clark, and we were being chased in a car down some kind of road. We turned off up the side down some kind of farm track and were being chased down there but I swerved off the road into a farm gateway and the other car went roaring past. We prepared to drive back where we’d come but another car came the other way. We’d been talking about these huge plants that were growing all over the placen one-eyed I-can’t-remember-the phrase-now but it was in a song by the Byrds, “My Back Pages”. This car came the other way and I asked “is that one of these?” and I said the name. He replied “probably” so we waited until it went. We thought that if he could go all the way through then so could we so I set out to follow it. He said “let’s forget about these plants for now and head off”, something that made me feel rather disappointed

Finally, we’d gone to a big village hall-kind of dance, the whole family, tribe. Our mother had taken us. She was, surprisingly, a big Afro-Caribbean woman. When the dancing took place she danced in a most uninhibited way. It had absolutely no interest for me whatsoever so I was just moping around at the back of the hall. eventually I went over to my mother and said that we really must have to go very soon. She asked the time and I replied “20:20”. For some reason we were due to go at 20:30 anyway. She started to collect everything together. She said that she first came to one of these dances when she was 15 and everyone was shocked and scandalised but even people like James Brown had stuck their head in to see what was happening. I hadn’t really any idea of what to say because I knew how my mother was with her imagination.

Yes, my mother had a very fertile imagination, as we came to realise as we grew older. She lived in her own little world that only rarely had any connection with the rest of the world in which everyone else lived.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday I mentioned that I’d had a problem with a three-column website on which I was working. It didn’t take me long to discover the missing tag (or, should I say, the tag that was in the wrong place) and once I’d done that, I finished it off.

You can see it ON-LINE now. The content isn’t inspiring but it was only a test run for a few other purposes that will become clearer over the course of time.

It’s been checked in C-Cleaner, Waterfox and Tor but if someone has access to an Apple-based machine, if you could check it to see that it does what it’s supposed to, I’d be grateful.

Having dealt with that task, the next task was one about which I’d forgotten. At the end of October last year I’d been to see a rock group called “Reload”. I took … gulp … 184 photos and I’d made a start on editing them but as usual, I’d been side-tracked.

This morning though, I sat down and worked my way right through the lot and they are all now edited. I’m now onto mounting them (I’m kinky like that) and they will be on-line in die course.

That will be the acid test of my three-column photo layout – trying to make it work with all of these.

There were several breaks of course – breakfast being one of them with my lovely fruit bread, and then a shower and a good clean-up.

And while I was at it, I did my Dave Crosby impression. In fact I went one better and actually did cut my hair. Probably because I didn’t have the ‘flu for Christmas.

After lunch I headed out for the physiotherapist.

van car porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022And we’ve had a change here at the Porte St Jean.

The large lorry and trailer with the digger perched thereupon are not there this afternoon. Instead the place has been taken by a glazier’s van.

In fact that has been there or thereabouts in one of the parking spaces for the past couple of days but today it seems that the driver has taken advantage of the absence of the lorry to move even closer.

In fact, I would have thought that he could have passed underneath the arch. There looks to be enough room.

On the left-hand edge you can see some advertising boards that have been erected. It’s soon to be election time here and they put up these boards for the candidates to attach their posters.

jade 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As usual, at the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne, I stopped to check the camera – even though I’d checked it just a minute before.

There’s no-one about in the outer harbour and most of the fishing boats in the inner harbour seem to be out at sea. The only one that seems to be in there today is Jade III and I wonder why she hasn’t gone out.

Also absent, as they have been for quite a while, are Victor Hugo and Granville, the two Channel Island ferries. If service is indeed starting up in April, they need to finish their overhauls quickly and make their way back here to be ready to go.

freight on quayside bouchot stakes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Down on the quayside, all of the freight that was there has now gone.

Normandy Trader, one of the little Jersey freighters, came in the other day and whisked it all off to the Channel Islands but there’s another pile that is slowly appearing down there ready for the next voyage.

And you can see all of the old stakes from the bouchot farms on the Ile de Chausey down there to the left of the right-hand crane. That was a good weekend’s work to pull up all of those and replace them.

Whoever is going to take those away will have some work on his hands too.

joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Meanwhile, down in the bottom corner, there’s been quite a lot happening by the looks of things.

There’s only one boat down there today, and that’s the newer of the two Joly France boats, the one with the smaller superstructure on the upper deck.

We saw Chausiaise out at the ferry terminal yesterday, but Belle France is also missing today. She and the older of the two Joly France boats must be keeping busy running out to the islands today.

And the mystery of why they all had their cranes out the other day is as yet unresolved. I’ve not seen anything at all about it.

reroofing rue lecampion Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022A week or so ago I posted a photo of a cherry-picker that looked as if it had lifted some scaffolding up onto a flat roof in the Rue Lecampion.

Over the past few days I’d been keeping a quiet eye on it but today there has been some rapid progress since I last saw it. They’ve removed the tiles from an adjacent pitched roof and replaced all of the woodwork

That was quite quick. It’s not like the typical worker whom we’ve encountered these days.

Carefully dodging workmen dropping out of the sky, I sailed up the Rue Couraye rather more rapidly than just recently for my appointment with the physiotherapist.

She had a good look at my x-rays but told me that there was nothing evident that she could see about why I’m having this trouble with my knee. And that’s bad news as far as I’m concerned because how can anyone fix the problem if they can’t see t?

It’s just like my heart issue, where there’s no obvious problem that anyone can see. I’m not making it all up, I know that.

Anyway she gave me an electromassage, put me on the bike thing for 5 minutes and gave me a few exercises.

After she threw me out, I went to Lidl. I’m out of tomatoes and cucumber as well as a couple of other things. And there’s no big shop at the weekend because I’m on a course and anyway, I’m off on my travels on Thursday next week.

new building rue st paul rue victor hugo Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022On the way home I went past the new house that is being built on the corner of the Rue St Paul and Rue Victor Hugo.

When I arrived the builders were busy chasing away a couple of kids who were pleying in the building, but apart from that there doesn’t seem to have been a great deal going on. I suppose that they will finish it one day.

My route led me through the town and up the hill towards home but I hadn’t gone far up the hill when a neighbour came past in his car. He offered me a lift, which was nice of him I did have a fair bit of stuff to carry.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Back in here I put some coffee on to brew and then picked up the big NIKON D500 to go outside.

Across the car park went I towards the beach to see what was happening there. The tide was well out and with the weather being so nice, there were plenty of people down there making the most of it. Of course, here in France, there’s no school on Wednesday afternoon.

While I was here, I had a look out to sea to see if there were any fishing boats working out here today. There was something right out beyond the Ile de Chausey that I couldn’t see, but that was really my lot. There wasn’t anything else happening out at sea that I could see.

55-qj aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Ther emight have been nothing going on out at sea but there was something having a go at the Thunderclap Newman impression of “Something In The Air”.

And don’t ask me what it is because its number, 55-QJ, is one of those that isn’t in the series of numbers to which I have access. And it goes without saying that she hasn’t filed a flight plan and wasn’t picked up on radar either.

Back here I had my coffee and then had half an hour or so on the guitar before I carried on with mounting the photos of the concert that I attended.

Tea was a curry with the left-over stuff in the fridge. I’ve not forgotten that I have some stuffing left from Monday, but I fancied a curry tonight. I’ll have the stuffing in a taco roll tomorrow.

So as well as that, I have a Welsh lesson tomorrow. In the afternoon too, not the evening as I thought. I wonder what kind of catastrophe this will be.

Tuesday 8th February 2022 – I’M GOING TO …

… Leuven tomorrow and I do have to say that I’ve never felt less like it. It’s not because of any health issue (although that is weighing me down of course but it’s an “energy and enthusiasm” issue again and I just can’t seem to shake it off.

It wasn’t as if I’d had a bad night either. I was in bed at something like a reasonable time and according to the dictaphone I wasn’t disturbed until comparatively late in the proceedings, so I must have had quite a deep sleep.

Having listened to what I’d been up to during the night, I hadn’t gone all that far either on my travels. There was something last night about a girl who was an orphan who came to stay with us but I don’t remember very much at all about this particular trip.

Later on though we had to go out and investigate someone who was driving without a speedo. When we arrived they were performing some really weird manoeuvres but we couldn’t find anything wrong but told them that now that they have brought themselves to the attention of the police they ought to take it very easy for the next while or so. Then this girl and I went home again.

That was all a bit of a damp squib, wasn’t it?

Leaving the bed though at 07:30 was not as easy as it might have been but eventually I was in the kitchen taking my medicine before coming back in here to check my mails and messages and then to prepare for my Welsh lesson. And, unfortunately, crash out for a short while too.

The lesson was, like most of them these days, quite dismal, just like me but with the course slowly coming to an end I renewed for the next level. I’m not sure how that’s going to work because this one seems to be rather above me, but my brain will seize up if I don’t use it (if it hasn’t already) and I have to push myself along.

After lunch, I had a listen to this concert that has a hole in it. And after quite a while of manipulation … “PERSONipulation” – ed … I’ve actually fixed it with a bit of “cut-and-paste” of another section that I’ve managed to fit in over the top.

It took ages to synchronise the beats but now, not only can you not hear any join or any difference in sound tone and level where I’ve pasted in, you can’t even tell that there’s been any alteration in the beat of the music and I’m well-impressed with what I managed to do.

It ended up being 0.264 of a second over-running but that was no problem to deal with.

However, I’ve also found two other slight holes in the tape when I listened more closely and my next challenge will be to replace them – and to see if I can do a job as well as I did this afternoon or whether that was just a lucky strike.

Another thing that I did was to shuffle the introduction around on another concert that I did yesterday. I’d written something that seemed to run in a logical order but when I recorded it and played it back later when I was editing, it didn’t seem to be right.

That was something that had irritated me ever since yesterday and so this afternoon I did a cut-and-paste on that too and rearranged my intro.

Looking back over the last day or two, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve actually enjoyed doing these concerts – enjoyed them very much, especially the first one that I did yesterday where I manufactured it out of a pile of bits of miscellaneous items.

It seems to me that given half a chance and provided that I can lay my hands on the material, I’ll be doing a few more of these.

My supply of concert material, from the days when I drove a sound engineer around, is limited though to another 40 or so concerts, a few of which are not really suitable so if I keep on going, I’ll start to run out sooner or later. And if ever he contacts me and asks for his material back, then I will be in trouble.

However, it is something of a miracle that after all of the vicissitudes that I’ve been through over the last 45-50 years, I actually still have in my possession as much as I do..

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022As usual, I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

First port of call was, as usual, the beach down at the bottom of the steps at the Rue du Nord to see who was down there this afternoon – and even, of course, that there was a beach for anyone to be on.

This afternoon we had quite a bit of a beach and there were even a few people down there. They were scavenging around on the rocks as if they were hunting for shellfish. Not that it’s the correct time of day and the state of the tide to do that but nevertheless they can probably find something to take home with them.

trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And, as usual, I was also looking around out at sea to find out what was happening there.

Yesterday we noticed a trawler or two out there working in the Baie de Granville over by the Ile de Chausey. Today, there was another one – and a different one too – working out there in the bay. It seems to be quite the thing these days.

There were a few people out there walking on the path this afternoon, which is not surprising seeing that it’s half-term. The weather wasn’t anything notable either – not at all cold for the time of the year although it was grey and overcast. No problem about being outside this afternoon.

seagull rainstorm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022However that’s the kind of thing that can change at any moment.

There’s a terrific rainstorm out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel and it’s slowly heading my way. Give it half an hour or so and I imagine that we’ll be having all of that dropping on our heads over here.

Consequently I have no intention of hanging around out here on the headland waiting for it to arrive. I shall emulate the seagull in the photo and push on … “push off” – ed … down the path on my way towards home and my nice hot coffee bubbling in the percolator even as we speak.

le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022It was interesting to see what was going on in the chantier naval this afternoon

Work on the Le Roc A La Mauve III is proceeding quite rapidly, which makes something of a change around here. There are a couple of people working on her and they have been doing quite a lot of sanding-down of her hull.

You can see the pile of paint dust that has fathered around her on the floor.

Still in the chantier naval up on her ramps is Tiberiade. She’s also having quite a going-over as well.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Over at the ferry terminal we have the older of the two Joly France ferries, the one that we saw going out to the island on Saturday morning.

They still run out now and again during the winter, not that we are having any winter right now, and so for that reason she’s tied up there in the NAABSA (not always afloat but safely aground) position rather than tied up with her sisters in the inner harbour.

They are still in there where we saw them on Saturday.

What I’m wondering is whether they will be carrying out a refurbishment on the ferry terminal too. It’s not been used for getting on for two years so it’s probably going to need a good sorting out if ferry services to the Channel Islands are going to restart at the end of April.

plaque to 21st battalion chasseurs à pied place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022One thing that I have been meaning to do is to go and look at what was going on on Saturday across the road in the car park of the other building.

There were several wreaths on the floor and above them is this plaque commemorating the the 21st Battalion of the Chasseurs à Pied. I can’t say whether or not this plaque was here prior to Saturday but it certainly looks new and this was where they were standing.

Back here I had a shower and shave and a general clean-up, and then I did my Dave Crosby impression. Must be because I had a flu for Christmas and I’m not feeling up to par.

While I was there, I washed my trainers. They have been filthy and totally disreputable for the last several years but they are supremely comfortable.

One of the things that I did this afternoon while I was editing my sound files and so on was to fall asleep again – for 10 minutes or so. This is becoming far too much of a habit these days and quite depressing especially as I had a reasonable sleep last night.

Tea tonight was a taco roll. The stuffing that I forgot to use yesterday was quite edible and there was half a tomato that needed eating so I added that in. Tea was delicious.

And bang on cue, I reached the end of the film that I’d been watching over the last few days while I’ve been eating my evening meal. This one was THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY.

This is a film that I’ve seen in several different versions with several different edits, depending upon the region in which the film was marketed, and I have yet to find a copy of the unedited version that combines all of the different versions.

It’s strange, because when I see that film I always think that it’s the best of the three films but when I see FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE I consider that one to be the best. So I dunno.

Now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed. I’ve a 06:00 start and have a lot to do to prepare before I leave for Leuven.

At least I can sleep on the train if necessary.

Monday 3rd January 2022 – I’M FEELING A LITTLE …

… better today, although once more I don’t know why, because nothing any different happened today.

having made an effort, I was in bed at some kind of reasonable time – still not as early as I would have liked but early enough to make sure that I had something like a reasonable sleep.

And I didn’t go too far on my travels either. I’d gone back to school. There was something in the newspaper about something or other and I found myself back in school with all this information, or at least some of it. I’ve no idea why. I arrived at the lift (which there wasn’t in my day) and was trying to work out from the names of the teachers on there which lift was going to fo to where. After I’d been doing this for a couple of minutes, someone came over to me – a teacher – and asked me but I couldn’t explain why I was there because I didn’t have all of the information so I made up some story about a handball match and said that we didn’t have handball when we were at school so I was hoping to interview someone about the game. She mentioned a name and wandered off but I couldn’t see that name on this list. There was someone there, an adult person with a baby mentality. She told me that it was 38 so I made some kind of baby talk reply back to her and went back to get into the lift.

Later on there was some kind of headline in the local paper “Boris Johnson gives £30,000 to kids’ school toilet”. It turns out that the tilet in this school had been damaged in some kind of attack and according to the headline he’d given the money to this school to repair it. However it turned out that it was money from a certain budget that had been set aside for this kind of work anyway so it was nothing to do with him, nothing to do with a gift, nothing to do with anything. Just a normal routine that had been gaslit by this newspaper.

And having spent the last couple of nights in the company of some rather interesting and agreeable young ladies, last night’s companions, such as they were, were rather disappointing.

When the alarm went off at 06:00 I fell out of bed fairly rapidly, which was something of a surprise to me given the way that things have been just recently. And after the medication and checking the mails and messages, I attacked the radio programme and it was all up and running by 10:30, with breaks for coffee and breakfast included.

And I would have finished it earlier too had I been able to find the ZOOM H8 as soon as I started looking at it. Eventually after much binding in the marsh, I found it on the shelf by the computer still plugged into the microphone and the mains.

Next time, I must remember to put it away properly.

Just as I started to listen to the programme that I’d made, Rosemary rang me and we had a very long chat as usual so by the time I’d finished listening to the programme that I made today and the one that I was sending off for broadcast, I ended up having a very late lunch.

First task after lunch was to blanch and then freeze the sprouts and the leeks that were left over from New Year. Now I have a nice collection of frozen veg and there is still no room in the freezer. Every time I take something out, I end up sticking something else back.

The rubbish bin was now full to the brim so I braved the rainstorm and took it outside to the containers.

The dictaphone notes are all now finished too and tomorrow I’ll make a start on updating some of the journal entries where the “overnight notes” haven’t been, in the hope that I can find myself in the company of a few more interesting and agreeable young ladies.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022When I went out earlier, it was raining quite heavily but by the time that I went out for my afternoon walk it had eased off a little. Just a little.

First port of call was of course the beach so I wandered off to the wall at the end of the car park. And while there is more and more beach, there are fewer and fewer people on it.

In fact, there was no-one down there this afternoon that I can see. And that’s hardly a surprise given the weather.

In fact, you can tell from the photo just how miserable the weather is this afternoon. Visibility down to about three or four miles with a haze that is actually the cumulative effect of a rainstorm.

fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022As usual, I was lookign around out at sea as well.

And deep in the bay flitting in and out of the squalls was a trawler having a good fish about – at least, all of its white lights were illuminated and that’s a legal requirement for a fishing boat that has all of its nets out.

There was another one further out as well. I caught the occasional glimpse of it during the periods when the rain abated.

No-one on the beach and there was no-one on the path either this afternoon which, given the weather, was no surprise. I could have a wander around in perfect safety despite the totals of infections and deaths. The number of infections in Normandy has more than doubled since the holidaymakers arrived.

fishing boats baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022No-one was down at the bench this afternoon, but there was plenty of activity elsewhere in the vicinity.

Out at sea off the coast were three fishing boats. The tide is on the way in of course but it will be half an hour at least before it’s deep enough for the boats to moor up at the fish processing plant so they are loitering around offshore until the moment arrives when they can come in.

They haven’t had much of a holiday, these fishermen.

So on that note, I headed off down the path towards the viewpoint overlooking the port and the chantier naval.

La Bavolette II gerlean chantier naval port de granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022And there has been more activity in the chantier naval since I was here last yesterday afternoon.

Although that fishing boat down there has Le Saint Gaud painted on her superstructure, according to the shipping register she’s now called La Bavolette II, having changed her name quite recently.

She’s there in the chantier naval alongside Gerlean who is still in there since the other day.

But I wasn’t there for long. The rain was making me feel quite depressed so I turned for home. I had things to do.

articulated lorry and trailer port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022However I couldn’t go home quite yet.

Over on the other side is a large articulated lorry and trailer. At first I thought that it might belong to Plenty’s dad. His lorries come in here quite regularly although I haven’t seen one for a while.

This one however is from somewhere else and if I had to guess, I would say that it’s from the Netherlands. The telephone number isn’t the correct format for Flanders.

Back here I put the coffee on the go and while it was percolating I went for a shower. And while I was at it I went one better than David Crosby and actually did cut my hair.

And finally, I was able to drink my coffee.

In the fridge was half a tin of baked beans from Saturday morning. Consequently I cut myself some chips and used the microwave fryer to cook them. They ended up as a soggy mass which was a shame but they were still nice for a change. Baked beans and a vegan burger rounded it off quite nicely.

When this play on the radio finishes, I’m off to bed. Our Welsh lesson starts up again tomorrow so there is a lot of revision to do and lessons to prepare.

Friday 8th October 2021 – I WAS IN BED …

… last night really early – at about 22:40 as it happened, and I had one of the best, deepest sleeps that I have ever had, all the way through until … errr … 04:41. And then the wheels fell off.

When I awoke, I was drenched in sweat yet again (and isn’t this becoming a regular occurrence?), probably the worst yet, and then I spent the time until the alarm went off at 07:30 just tossing and turning in bed.

Staggering out of bed I went for my medication and then back here after dealing with my mails and messages I made a coffee and dealt with the dictaphone.

Yesterday’s voyages are now on line in the appropriate place and then I had a listen to today’s. I’d found myself a nice young girlfriend and I’d been round at my mother’s house with her. It was time for her to go home so I said “yes, you have school in the morning”. She said no, she wasn’t going to school. I asked 2 or 3 times but it didn’t sink in with me. We went to go out and it was pouring down with rain. My mother asked “what are you going to do now?” I replied “put our hoods up”. THe girl decided that it was rather too much so my mother said that she’d run us. I replied “I’ll drive – where are the keys?”. My mother refused and I thought that this was a strange turn-round from how things usually are. I got into the back of this Cortina estate and my mother and this girl got into the front and set off. My mother’s driving was all over the place, driving up the kerb and everything. I said to the girl “I told you that you’ll regret this”. We came to a road junction out of Vine Tree Avenue into Somerville Street in Crewe and I’ve no idea why we were there but my mother didn’t slow down. She just carried on. I shouted “aren’t you going to stop?”. She jammed her foot on the brake and the car slid across the road junction just missing another car coming the other way. I took this girl and we left the car and said “right, we’re walking”. This girl was rather unhappy about walking and said “we can always go to see Reg and have him drive us home” but he was just about walking as far in the other direction as it was walking her home to her house from where we were. I had this feeling again that here was something else that was slipping through my hands. That’s turning into a regular part of my dreams, isn’t it? Here I am with a bird on my plate and just as I’m about to get my fork stuck into it …

Later on I was back working in an office and who should start to work there but TOTGA? Of course I was very interested in that but she never seemed to have the time to talk to me, which was rather a shame. This affected me once to such an extent that I couldn’t concentrate on my work. I had the bougeotte, the need to move around. I went out of the office to go for a little walk. Some other woman came out and asked me where I was going so I told her. She said “well if you like I’ll come back afterwards and peel your carrots for you” which I thought was a strange thing to say. I got into my car, which was the Omega, left-hand drive, and drove it down the ramp into the car park. But my badge wouldn’t work the car park and quite a queue of people built up behind me. The guys in the office down there controlling the car park weren’t in the least bit interested. Eventually one of them came over and tried my badge but it didn’t work. He said “your badge has expired” and that was that. I had to make all of these people behind me reverse out of the way and I had to reverse the Omega back up which wasn’t easy with these vehicles coming down behind me and going off somewhere else. I ended up back in my office. By now there was a party taking place at lunchtime so I walked round the corner and there was TOTGA still sitting at her desk working. I went over and asked her “aren’t you taking part in the festivities?” and that was when things ground to a halt unfortunately, although I had a feeling that I was heading for yet another disappointment

Later still I was in some kind of army. I can’t remember much about this but someone came along with a cannon so I gave him a run out. His was far better than any artillery I had in my army so I was very keen to sign him up. I can’t remember what happened after this.

Finally, I’d gone to see a car for sale. An Opel. 40 miles on the clock despite it being 4 years old. It had been bought for someone who had become ill and had never ever used it. I went to see it and it really was in good condition as you would expect but it had had a bang underneath it and the paint had come off one of the sills. The sill was bent and the floor pan was rather bent. I offered then £4,000 for it but they wanted £8,000 which was what they had paid, which was probably right 4 years ago. I offered them £4,000 which they thought was a humiliation but I pointed out these defects and said “let me know what you think”.

It’s hardly surprising that I was totally exhausted after all of that, especially as it seemed to be so full of disappointment. Nothing seems to be going my way during my nocturnal rambles, rejected by TOTGA and having relationship issues with a girl whom I wish I knew who she was, and my family sticking their oar in to spike my guns just like in real life all those years ago.

Anyway, let’s not brood on the past.

Much of the morning was spent with this radio project, following up a couple of hot clues about people who might have a few things to say for themselves. But one thing that I have noticed, particularly with the Brits, is that they will spend days if not weeks moaning about something and yet refuse to do anything about it, even when the opportunity is presented to them on a plate.

A shower came next and as a surprise, I went one step further than Dave Crosby. Must be because I had a ‘flu for Christmas. I weighed myself today too and in the space of a week I’ve lost 1.2kg. At this rate, I’ll be gone completely in 18 months.

After an early lunch I headed off into town.

building work boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The first port of call, for a change this afternoon seeing as it was early, was to see if there was any sign of life at the roadworks in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

And there was actually someone there too. As I was walking down the hill he walked out of the compound and went to sit in the digger that was there. And that’s all he did – just sat there.

But there has been some kind of activity because the skip that was here has now gone. You can see the mark on the road where it was left. So something is happening, although it’s hard to say what it is.

dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Further on down the road, there’s still no change in the port.

The dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie is still down there in the harbour, still surrounded by all of the pipes and tubes. It looks as if nothing of any importance has moved since yesterday.

But I need to be moving so I pushed on down the Rue des Juifs and then down the steps towards the Place Pléville-Lepelley

place pléville-lepelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The Place looks empty and deserted right now.

Over the summer there was the Bar Ephemère, “Chez Maguie”, down there with several tables and benches and all kinds of things but a couple of weeks ago it was all folded back up into the shipping container that was its home.

But now that’s no longer here. Gone! And never called me “mother”!

Usually there are hordes of people here too playing boules but there’s not a soul down there this afternoon. And that’s a surprise, seeing as it’s lunchtime right now.

diesel fuel spill place semard Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The walk up the hill wasn’t as bad as it has been just recently. I only stopped once to catch my breath and if that were the case every time I’d be quite happy with that.

At the roundabout in the Place Semard there looks as if there has been a diesel spillage. There’s a big trail of sand around the roundabout that stops as the road begins to climb the hill. A couple of scooters were taking the bend very gingerly.

The physiotherapist had me on the tilting platform thing for 20 minutes and then the cross trainer to finish off. I pushed my personal best on by another 10 seconds and could have done better except that my right knee was feeling the strain. I was glad to stop.

After he threw me out I went across the road to the little Carrefour. I’m running low on fruit and I don’t want to go all the way out to the hypermarket tomorrow for just a few things as I’m off to Leuven on Wednesday morning.

Fruit is expensive in there but it’s right on the way home so I may as well splash out. And they had 1.5kg of nice-looking potatoes on special offer at €0:99 and I’ve run out.

It was a stagger back home carrying all of that but it had to be done and it saves me going out tomorrow of course

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The walk up the hill in the Rue des Juifs wasn’t as easy as it might have been had I not been loaded up, and I was glad to reach the viewpoint overlooking the port.

Leaving on the wall with my energy drink in one hand, I could see that we’ve had a change down there on the quayside.

One of the Jersey freighters (it was the Normandy Trader with a skeleton crew as I learnt later) has been into port this morning, taken away a lot of the stuff that was on the quayside and it looks as if she’s unloaded another pile of freight that is waiting to be collected.

eglise st paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021On the way down the hill earlier I noticed that there was something going on by the Eglise St Paul.

While I was here I took a photo and back home in the apartment I could enlarge (I only have the NIKKOR 30-110mm LENS on the NIKON D3000) the photo to see what was happening.

It looks as if they are working on the rear of a building in the Rue Couraye and using a crane to swing stuff over from the road by the church. Strangely, I’d just been walking up and down the Rue Couraye and I hadn’t noticed a thing. I must be slipping..

repairing flags boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few days I posted a photo of the flags on the car part at the Boulevard Vaufleury that had been shredded by the wind early in the week.

Today, they have turned up there in a cherry-picker and there are a couple of workmen there. Are they chanign light bulbs in the street lights there, aor are they actually dealing with the flags?

Whatever it is that they are doing, they have an interested spectator in Georges René Le Peley de Pléville who is watching from his plinth.

IN case you are wondering who he is, which I’m sure you are, he was born in 1726 in Granville and was variously a privateer, governor of Marseille and an Admiral of the French fleet, to name but three of his many positions.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021On the way back home I went via the beach to see what was going on there.

Plenty of beach for it to be going on on, and quite a few people down there too, all armed with rakes and all kinds of unusual tools to scratch away at the sand to pull out whatever is left there by the tide.

Back home I made myself a coffee and then, rather regrettably, I fell asleep for 20 minutes. It’s been a while since I’ve slept like that, especially since I’ve been lying in, but I suppose that the walk and the physiotherapy has taken it all out of me

Once I’d recovered I set about adding a few of the noctural voyages for the journal entries for August. I’ve actually made it as far back as 21st August and there’s still plenty to go at yet.

Those potatoes looked so nice that I had steamed veg, veggie balls with vegan cheese sauce for tea and it was totally delicious tonight.

Now that my notes are finished, I’m going to have a quiet relax for half an hour and then go to bed for an early night.

No shopping tomorrow, but I have a desktop mixer panel with which I need to have a play around and make work. It’s been sitting on my shelves for far too long and it’s about time that I brought it into use if I can.