Tag Archives: high winds

Thursday 9th November 2023 – MAIS OÙ SONT …

… les neiges d’antan? wrote Francois Villon 550 years ago in his poem La Ballade Des Dames Du Temps Jadis.

And I wrote something similar last night in my tale of woe about “Ladies From Former Times” when I wrote about Castor, Zero and TOTGA and the absence thereof during my nocturnal ramblings. Where indeed are the snows of yesteryear?

So of course it goes without saying that last night Zero and TOTGA came to see me – at different times, I have to say. I don’t think that I could cope with them both together.

It was all extremely confusing because I had another bad night – one of many that I seem to be having these days. I think that it must be my guilty conscience catching up with me, or something like that.

But that wasn’t the worst of it. As I said, at some point TOTGA came by. We were talking about an expression that I’d used in a conversation – one of these superlative hyperbole expressions. At first she didn’t understand it so I explained that it came from the “Round The Horne” programme which was very good at doing that kind of thing. I went to give her an example and was about to talk about Geronimo and his Indian braves when I suddenly had the most appalling attack of cramp in my left lower leg and I awoke in absolute agony.

Can you imagine it? There I was, not only with the bird on my plate but just about to get my fork stuck in it and I had a bad attack of cramp. The first time that she’s shown up for quite a while too. Is there anything more disappointing than that?

Actually, all through the night I was having these bad attacks of cramp and it was probably all of this that was disturbing my sleep.

In fact, I was glad when the alarm went off and I could stagger to my feet.

It took rather longer than usual to come round into the Land of the Living, but once I was finally on the same planet as you lot, I transcribed the dictaphone notes.

TOTGA I mentioned just now. And later on I was in some kind of big city. One of these places with some impressive stone buildings like Bank headquarters etc. I was walking along a path that was on top of a cliff with all of these big buildings on my right. I came to a point where I couldn’t go any further. The wall of the building went right down to the edge of the cliff. I noticed that there was a gate in it. I can’t think why I hadn’t noticed this gate before. I walked through the gate and slowly went up the hill. There in the distance was a Fortis Bank cash machine. Luckily I had my new Fortis card with me. I picked up the card and tried to put it in the machine but it wouldn’t fit. I’d noticed that I’d actually left it stuck to the backing. I had to peel off the backing but it still wouldn’t fit. I noticed that there was still something else attached to it. It took me several goes to have the card completely separate from whatever it was that it was stuck to. I put it in the machine. At first I had a really difficult job to remember the code number. Eventually I recalled it and could access the account. I then had to think about drawing out some money – obviously, with not going anywhere near a bank these days, the more money I have on hand the better but there has to be a limit. I didn’t want to go too close to the limit in case the machine swallowed my card and then I really would be stuck. I had to think really hard about how much money I was going to ask for.

Actually this is a real preoccupation with me right now. I can’t actually go to the bank any more because I can’t climb back onto the bus at the bus stop. I have a little “fighting fund” of cash squirrelled away but it’s not going to last for ever.

It’s actually quite bizarre. When I was at University, as well as being Chair of Northern Europe I was also involved in Disability issues when I was on the Executive Committee and so I’m well-aware of the day-to-day problems that disability can present.

So I’ve never understood why, if the local council only has a certain budget to spend on improving the bus routes and facilities around the town, why one of the last bus stops to be raised up to a working height is the one just outside the Medical Centre where all of the ill and infirm people go.

That should have been one of the first to be raised up. But instead, the buses stop in the roadway far from the pavement and they don’t “kneel down” enough for wheelchairs and handicapped people to board very easily.

Anyway I digress.

A little earlier I also mentioned that Zero put in an appearance. But you really don’t want to know about the voyage that we had together, especially if you are eating your meal right now. It’s been a while since there has been anything really gruesome figuring in my nocturnal voyages, but when there is, there really is.

With a bit of luck she might put in an appearance tonight and we’ll have a happy ending.

Some nights, what goes on in my sleep is far more stressful than anything that happens during the day. It’s similar to the reason why I’m having serious thoughts about stopping my treatment at Leuven. It doesn’t matter how good the treatment might be and how efficient the care is in the journey to and from Vlaanderen is finishing me off.

Once I’d sorted that out I attacked the notes for the radio programme that I dictated last night. And I stuck at it and finished the programme. I’m actually now at 31st May 2024 with my totally-completed radio shows. I want to be as far ahead as I can possibly be because sooner or later the inevitable will catch up with me.

Afterwards I spent some time tidying the apartment. I’m having a visit tomorrow so the place needs to be clean and tidy. I know that cleanliness is next to Godliness but with me it’s next to impossible.

Neitzsche famously said “out of chaos comes order” but he said that a long time before I was ever thought of. Ezra Pound once said of Ford Madox Ford “Put Ford naked in an empty room and within an hour behold total chaos!”. That’s something that I understand very well

The bedroom is actually clean now and I’ve even vacuumed the floor. And you’ve no idea just how difficult a simple task like vacuuming is right now.

And then I had a good wash and brush up and the car came for me to take me to the Centre de Re-education. The ergotherapist had me opening and closing doors, laying tables, picking up pins and counters off the table, that sort of thing. She also says that next week she’ll come round here to give me practical advice about getting the most out of my apartment.

Severine the physiotherapist put me through my paces too and then, totally, exhausted, I headed back home in the car.

My cleaner was just coming into the building so she helped me up the stairs and into here, where I made myself my mug of hot chocolate.

The rest of the day, such as it was, has been spent pairing off the music for the next couple of radio programmes and beginning to write the notes for one of them.

Tea tonight was delicious. Steamed vegetables and a vegan sausage in a vegan cheese sauce. That was a meal that I enjoyed very much.

So now I’m going to bed, but not before I’ve sent someone a message. If I had to pick a favourite relative (and despite everything that I have said, I do actually have one) it’s the one who is getting married in Michigan tomorrow and I’m really disappointed that I can’t be there with her.

She actually works for one of the biggest transport firms in North America and was away on a mission for work when she was caught in the lockdown over across the border in 2020. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Tomorrow morning I’m going to fight the good fight at the shops if the wind has dropped because it was quite savage again today. And then I’ll finalise my tidying up ready to find out what is actually going on about this visit tomorrow.

The plot sickens.

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

Wednesday 1st November 2023 – THERE WON’T BE MANY …

… people having much sleep tonight. And there’s a police patrol out on top of the cliffs just outside the front door making sure that no-one goes too close to the edge.

We are currently being battered by one of the fiercest storms that I’ve encountered so far, and seeing that this is the windiest corner in France, that’s saying something. It’s absolutely raging outside.

There wasn’t much in the way of sleep last night either.

It was rather later than usual when I went to bed and despite it being another turbulent night, I was actually up and about by 06:20. I couldn’t sleep at all.

Of course, being up and about is one thing. Being awake is something else completely and it took me quite a while to come to my senses. And that’s a surprise, seeing how few senses I have these days.

Once I’d livened up, after my morning coffee, I went tidying up. My bedroom is now looking a lot better than it did earlier. There were books and papers all over the place but now I can actually see some work surface.

In the kitchen and the dining area too. It’s been a couple of weeks since the cleaner has been and so the place is in a bit of a mess. You’ve no idea how difficult it is to perform even the simplest of tasks around here.

One thing that I did today was to switch on the heating. I’ve put it off for a couple of days because I wanted to see November in before I switched it on, and I was desperately clinging on towards the end.

Just now I mentioned the turbulent night. There were tons of stuff on the dictaphone. I started off with a girl whom I knew from Nerina’s office but I can’t remember very much at all about what was happening in it. I seem to have forgotten it all. I do remember suddenly realising that it was a Tuesday night. I’d been off sick for several days and if I didn’t go back into work in the morning I’d be in all kinds of serious trouble. I needed to get a grip, get my things together and head back into work in the morning.

Later on I wanted to sit down and write a letter about the apartment downstairs, how I thought that I ought to be moving into it. There were so many hoops and so on through which I had to jump that it was extremely complicated and needed a great deal of thought before I could sit down and write out a letter about it, making sure that the letter said everything that needed to be said without actually causing any problems for the recipient.

And then my brother and I were at it again last night … "again" sigh – ed. We’d had something to do and he wasn’t at all happy about it. I just couldn’t care less. I carried on going on my way anyway. We ended up in this building that had an Indian restaurant in it. I had a job there as a delivery driver. He’d been hanging on behind me as usual. I prepared everything and went out through the door into the street. For ages nothing happened so I had a patrol around the building to see whether there was anything else happening in there or anything else I could be doing because I needed to be earning some money. In the end I went back into the restaurant. My brother, who had now become some kind of girl Was actually preparing meals. He was moaning, complaining and shouting all the time about what he was having to do and how he didn’t want to do it etc, how he didn’t even like waiting on tables. The proprietor said “yes, I didn’t tell you about the waiting on tables bit but you knew everything else” but that didn’t stop him having a really good moan about everything. He was really unhappy about what was going on.

Meanwhile, I’d had an engine out of one of the Cortinas and had taken it to pieces to have a good look. I’d reassembled the block and sump and put them in position and had all the ancillaries like the manifolds, camshaft etc all there ready to go in. Nerina came round to have a look to see what I was doing. I showed her how the engine worked, what bits were where and what they did. She put her hand in there and touched something. She said “oh it’s loose”. I explained that everything there has to go in under tension – you can’t put one piece in, tighten it up completely, then put another bit in. You had to put all them pieces in together and tighten them up bit by bit while it all goes into tension – it’s all tightened up together slowly. She asked if I’d done anything to the engine. I replied “nothing, except to scratch the name on one of the pistons. This vehicle has done 300,000 miles and there isn’t a sign or wear in the bores, anywhere. I’d never seen an engine quite like this”. We were putting it all together. Also in the garage was an Austin A30 or A35. Some young person came into the garage to look around and saw the Austin. They noticed that the way that the grille and headlights were arranged made it look as if it was smiling and said “of look! This car’s really cute! It really likes me”.

But never mind that – last time I rebuild an engine from scratch in a Cortina it sheared off a big end cap from a con-rod while I was going down a dual carriageway at a rapid rate of knots

And finally a little girl came to see me in hospital. She was all of these “My Little Pony” humanoid figures lying around so she went over to look at them. Later on she began to play with some of them. I told her that she could choose one to play with because it had some work to do in the hospital and it was very important that it was ready when it was required to perform this particular task of work.

While we’re on the subject of letters, there’s a very important letter that I had to write today. I’ve not sent it off yet because, due to its nature, I want someone else to read it first. And so I’m going for coffee with the President of the Residents’ Committee tomorrow afternoon.

While the cleaner was here I finished off the notes for the radio programme, paired off the music for the next one and then wrote half of the notes for that one too. I’ll finish off those over the next couple of days and then dictate them late on Saturday night, assuming that the gale has subsided by them.

Tea tonight was a leftover curry and it was one of the best that I have made. The leftover stuffing needed lengthening, and as 5kg of potatoes was cheaper than 2.5 kg so that I now have the European Potato Mountain in my apartment, I lengthened it with a potato.

Into the mix was some soya yogurt to make it nice and creamy like a korma, and I took from the freezer some of the naan dough that I’d made a couple of weeks ago and had a garlic naan with it.

So I’m off to bed now, with my head stuck firmly under the quilt until tomorrow. And then we’ll see what people think about this letter that I’ve written. I’ve always worked on the principle that “if you don’t ask, you don’t get” and asking costs nothing anyway.

It might even be beneficial, and that would be something!

Saturday 5th August 2023 – IT’S REALLY WILD …

… outside. Some of the strongest winds that I have known since I have been here are howling around outside as I write these notes.

It’s been like this all day although maybe it’s a little worse now than it was. It certainly didn’t keep me awake during the night.

Plenty of other things did though, and I wish that I knew what they were, for it was another night when it seemed to take an age for me to go off to sleep, no matter how tired I was.

When the alarm went off I had to struggle out of bed. And later on it was even more of a struggle to make my way to Caliburn. I’m not very steady on my crutches at the best of times, but with my shopping trolley in a howling gale and torrential rainstorm made it even worse.

They were late opening up at Noz so I had to sit in the van for a while. And I’m glad that I went there because I was rather lucky.

While I’d been waiting, I’d been lamenting on the state of Caliburn’s wheels that are dirty, pitted and rusting. I’d painted the spare wheels a while ago and there in Noz today was some rustproofing wheel paint so I bought a couple of tins.

All I need now is for the wind to drop and the rain to stop.

There was also some jars of curry – vegan lentil Korma – so I grabbed a couple of jars of that too for use one of these days.

LeClerc didn’t come up with much but I seemed to have been in there for ages. I was quite late coming back. Especially as I was held up by a van crawling along at 20kph with a tannoy blaring out of it.

There’s a circus somewhere in town and this van was announcing it. Driven by one of the clowns, most likely.

There was quite a battle to make it back to the apartment with all of this wind.

Having sorted out the shopping I had my coffee and cheese on toast, then came back in here where, true to form just recently, I crashed out. Good and proper too.

There was quite a lot of stuff on the dictaphone from the night too, as I found out later on. I was back in hospital. They stuck an intravenous drip in my arm and connected a drip-feed to it. When they finished they disconnected the drip and strapped the catheter under a bandage of plasters and everything and sent me home to come back in a week or so. I then had to go to a check-up a day or two later. I can’t remember now where this check-up was but it was something significant. They checked me and from what they could see everything was back to normal. There were a couple more measurements and readings they wanted to take. They were underneath the bandages and strapping so they needed to take it all off. I was aware of how much all of this hurt, putting these needles in and taking them out again so I made something of a face about it. She told me that if all went well they would take it out today. I thought “what about if I have to come back here in a few days?”. She didn’t really have an answer to that. I felt just totally fed up at this point that they were thinking about all these things and no-one was actually thinking about me and the effect that the needles were having on me.

I had to join in last night with some people engaged in a tug of war with a gigantic ginger cat. Apparently it was a security cat that belonged to some kind of building and had been massively over-fed. It was having severe health problems and needed to be taken to the vet. They had so much difficulty catching it that eventually they managed to get a lead around it but they needed some help to try to pull it into a cage because it was so big.

Later on I was coming from Chester. As I approached Nantwich I was having a debate with myself about whether it would be quicker to go through the town centre or around the by-pass. Eventually I chose to go round the by-pass. It was the wrong decision because it was chucking-out time at Reaseheath College. The whole area was swarming with people, pedestrians, cyclists etc. We were held up for ages. I was bringing a coupe back to the area, 2 people sitting in the back seat. They were flirting around. I was having to keep a close watch in my mirror in all this traffic but I couldn’t see the road because of these two people. I was trying at the time to work out how best to tell them to sit still and not move about so that I could see what was going on behind me.

It was also the end of term. A bunch of kids from school were off to University. One girl in particular whom I liked, I’d been helping her with all of her paperwork, to prepare it. She was packing and I was going to take her to the University to install her there. I had my car in the car park. We were going through the final preparation getting the paperwork ready when one of her friends who was going to the same University said that we’d take her as well. She asked which car it was. I told her that it was a pale blue Ford Cortina RBY623R. I told her where it was parked. We collected the other girl’s things and went to draw out some money and to photocopy a few documents. She asked if we could stop somewhere as we were passing through France to pick up some alcohol. She was a small girl who looked younger than she was. I told her to print out an extra copy of her birth certificate and put it in her purse with her so that she wouldn’t have any problems in places like that. We then went to the printer, which was like a cash point. We had to insert a document. There was a keyboard where you had to type whatever information you wanted to insert. She inserted some documents, typed a few things and then printed them out. There was a couple of other people waiting to use the machine. They complained about how long she was taking which I thought was strange as it was the only one for the entire school. There must have been queues like this before.

As I went back to sleep I was on a bus with my passengers. I was collecting up my paperwork, tools and a box full of washers, drill bits etc, getting ready. I had prepared a map of the area. We set off in the coach on the way home, stopping by various places on the way.

Later on I finished off the radio notes ready for dictating and then went back to my Canada 2017 trip. I’ve now crossed the Churchill River and on my way north-east.

Churchill River was interesting. Trying to research it is not very easy because it wasn’t called Churchill River until 1965. When it was originally observed by Europeans, they named it “Grand River” but in 1821 it was renamed “Hamilton River” in honour of the then-Governor of Newfoundland.

So you can see what I mean.

And it’s likely to become even more complicated in due course as there is a movement afoot to petition the Government to change the name to represent its Innu heritage.

In case you’re wondering, which I’m sure you are, there are three, and maybe four, ethnic groups here in Labrador. Along the coast, north of Hamilton Inlet but formerly much further south too, are the Inuit.

In the southern part of Labrador and the interior of the north are the Innu, recognised by themselves as forming one ethnic grouo but some people, including our hero Viano Tanner, suggest that the southern people, known by the French in the past as Montagnais and the people in the interior further north , known in the past as Naskapi, are distinct and discrete groups.

And since 1982 the Métis have been recognised as a distinct and discrete ethnic group.

Something else that I’ve been doing is hunting down Court injunctions.

In 2012 Valard, the company that is building the dam at the Muskrat Falls and Nalcor, the energy corporation of the Newfoundland and Labrador Government were granted an injunction which prohibited “NunatuKavut (the local Innu) members and others from going within 50 meters of the Site which included any areas of land that Nalcor is authorized to use, or shall be authorized to use in the future”.

A Court of Appeal hearing in 2014 found that this injunction “prohibited the people of NunatuKavut from carrying out traditional activities and accessing their traditional lands” in defiance of a Treaty of Native Rights and overturned the injunction.

But the lesson we can learn from that is that not even a Treaty with native people is allowed to stand in the way of one of the Newfoundland Government’s sacred cows, if the Government thinks that it can get away with it.

Tea tonight was chips, salad and one of those kale and lentil burgers that I bought the other day. The burger wasn’t at all what I expected but it was actually quite nice and I wished that I’d bought some more of them.

Having written my notes now I’m going to dictate my notes for the radio if the wind dies down and I can hear myself think. And then I’m off to bed.

Tomorrow I have fruit buns to make and radio programmes to prepare, so by the looks of things I’ll be busy. Mind you, I’ll probably fall asleep instead. That seems to be how things work these days.

Monday 29th May 2023 – I’M GOING TO HAVE …

… to stop watching all of these HARRY POTTER films.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, while I’m eating my tea I’ll be watching a film on the DVD, gradually working my way around my collection of DVDs. Right now, the film that’s on the machine is HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE.

And so during the night I had to go to a wizards’ conference to learn something or other on a course. Wondering how I was going to go there, someone turned up and said that they’d take me. They had an umbrella that was like a helicopter blade. I hung onto them, they hung onto the helicopter blade and off we went. We flew past the house of someone whom I knew. I always suspected that they were rather strange and there were 5 people hovering over their house on broomsticks. I waved. Suddenly we came down to earth. The guy said “I’m going out of my area now so you have to get off and walk”. I asked “how go I come back?”. He replied “you come back to this spot and I’ll pick you up”. “So how do I come back here?”. he replied “you could always call a taxi”. I said goodbye to this guy and set off to walk. When I arrived at this place they were burying a cat that had been hit by a car. I thought that the collar might have special magic powers so I was wondering if I could have it. But they were obviously intent upon burying the cat wearing the collar so it was probably inappropriate to ask. They carried on with their plan to deal with the cat while I prepared myself for this weekend course.

It’s actually a film that I remember very well, having been to see it with Marianne when it was doing the rounds of the cinemas. And I remember thinking, when Dumbledore took out his wand to clean and rebuild Professor Slughorn’s house, that I would give all that I own and more besides to have a wand that would do that

A couple of weeks ago, it was the 10th anniversary of her voyage to meet her maker. It’s bizarre how quickly time flies. It seems like only yesterday but a lot has happened since then.

So retournons à nos moutons as they say around here, and in particular, about today.

It all started off with me once more raising myself from the dead before the alarm went off. And once I’d had my medication and checked my mails and messages, I made a start on the radio stuff that I’d dictated on Saturday night.

There wasn’t any rush today so it took a while, but in the end I finished up with two more programmes completed. There are only notes for two more, and then I can begin work on the next batch. But I’ll have to take it easy because I’m now 9 months in advance of broadcasting. I know that I want to be well ahead, because you never know when the bell might toll for me, but this is becoming rather excessive.

Being that far ahead isn’t really a good idea. I remember back in the old “Radio Anglais” days when I wrote and recorded a programme about Chris Squire, only for him to shuffle off this mortal coil the morning the programme was due to be broadcast. I don’t think that there’s been a radio programme rewritten as quickly as that one was.

Anyway, eventually I managed to finish the programme, despite the interruption from the nurse who came to give me my injection this morning.

One thing that I was going to do was to take out the rubbish to the bins but we have another hurricane blowing around outside. That’s the problem with living in what is one of the windiest places in Europe.

Mind you, it used to have its compensations. In this kind of weather I’d be out on the headland with the camera taking photos of the sea roaring over the sea wall into the harbour but these days I can’t even open the door of the building.

Instead, I transcribed the dictaphone notes. I’ve already mentioned one of them but there were still several others. I was just dropping off to sleep when I heard the physiotherapist shout to me. I don’t know what happened there but there have been a few times here and there over the years that I’ve had this phenomenon of people calling my name when I’ve been asleep and it’s awoken me with a start. I’ve never worked out why.

But strange things happen when you are asleep. I knew someone who dreamt that he was awake, and when he awoke, he was!

Later on I had to take my overtime sheet to the supervisor to have it signed so that I could submit it for payment. She began to ask me all kinds of strange questions about my hours etc that really weren’t anything to do with overtime. Then she asked me about lunches. How did I cope with lunch?. I replied “every so often I’d go to buy some meal tickets and hand over a meal ticket when I picked up my lunch”. She said something like “your brother will buy a spaghetti with his lunch money. Why don’t you do that?”. I couldn’t understand what was the issue or why she was making such a fuss out of something like this. All I wanted was my overtime sheet signed and none of this had anything to do with that.

At another moment I made a start writing a humorous book about an estate agent as well during the night but I didn’t get very far with that unfortunately. And when I awoke I couldn’t remember any of what it was that I’d written in my sleep.

With what time has been left, I’ve been sorting through the notes for 2017. It’s going to be a very long and laborious effort because Strider, STRAWBERRY MOOSE and I travelled about 12,000 miles during those 5 weeks.

Right now I’m in Pictou in Nova Scotia on my way to see my niece’s daughter who was at University in Antigonish at St F-X.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper with pasta and veg. And we had something of a calamity in that the pepper was too tall to fit in the air fryer. That’s something that I need to watch for the future. Frozen peppers wotk well enough in the air fryer but the microwave makes them sodden and the oven would take years for them to bake from frozen.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t the disaster that it might have been, and there’s still plenty of stuffing left over for a taco roll for tea tomorrow.

There’s no Welsh lesson tomorrow as Coleg Cambria is having a week off. I might do some revision for a change and then continue with my 2017 notes. I’ll be pushing on up the Cape Breton coast towards Sydney and the ferry to Newfoundland.

And then I’ll be pushing off.

Saturday 15th April 2023 – JUST BY WAY …

… of a change, I was fast asleep in bed when the alarm went off this morning.

It’s been quite a while since that’s happened, hasn’t it?

Anyway, I struggled to my feet and went off for my medication and then I set the washing machine off on another cycle. That’s all of the arrears of washing done now, which is good news. I’ve been letting things build up too much again just recently.

Saturday is shopping day so braving the hurricane that was blowing outside (and I DO mean “hurricane”) Caliburn and I set out for the shops.

Noz came up with a few bits and pieces but nothing of any special excitement, and ditto at LeClerc, except that they had an icing bag with a few assorted nozzles on sale at €2:85. It’s nothing very much – just like a refillable tube of toothpaste really – but it would have been handy for putting the crosses on my hot cross buns the other day.

What usually happens with tools and things like that is that I’ll buy the cheapest thing to see how it works and how much use I’ll have from it. And if it’s something that I like and will use often, I’ll pousser le bateau dehors and buy an expensive, better one.

That’s the story of my apartment really. When I moved here I bought everything brand-new but at the cheapest possible price so that I could have everything all at once. And as it breaks down, replacing it with much better-quality stuff. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall my saying that the way my health was, I didn’t actually expect to outlive any of it.

Back here, I made it up the stairs quite comfortably with one crutch and the shopping trolley loaded to the brim with goodies, and after I’d put everything away I settled down with my cheese on toast and coffee.

After food I had a listen to where I’d been during the night. I was with my brother at one point. We were camping out somewhere in an old ruined house. We’d set up our kitchen outside. It became tea time so we went outside. The skies were really heavy, overcast and grey as if it would rain at any moment. We had to push on to make food. There wasn’t much to eat so we made the most of what we could find to hand. Some of the stuff had gone off, unfit for human consumption so it ended up in the bin. I was still hungry at the end of the meal and knew that there were more bread rolls in the car so I was going to go back to the car to fetch them while my brother went back into the house. I set off to the car to fetch them

And then I’d been doing some work on a car in a yard somewhere to do with a former friend of mine. There was an article going round on the TV about someone who had died and left some motorbikes one of which he wanted to be left in the original condition and the others he wasn’t all that bothered about. What they had done with one of the others with a Norton Featherbed frame was that they had taken off the fuel tank to fit on another bike, they’d taken out the engine to fit it somewhere else and they’d ended up with the Featherbed frame and wheels and very little else attached to it, no engine, tank, seat or anything. I thought “what a waste of a really good bike this is. It looked lovely before they started messing around and breaking it for bits”. By the time that I’d finished I had to leave the yard. There were so many vehicles parked in here that trying to leave was a nightmare. I had to reverse as far back as I could and then try to swing round somehow. I could see that I was getting it all wrong. Then the clutch started to slip. I put it in reverse at one point again and the clutch was slipping. The car was slowly rolling forward. That wasn’t what I had in mind at all. I thought that i’d have to rev the engine really hard to move from here and that’s not at all my way of driving.

Finally I was in the offices of a ferry company last night trying to arrange some kind of travel accommodation for that former friend and his wife who were going to Europe for the day but who would be stranded because of the ferry strike but the alarm went off in the middle of it. You’ve no idea how disappointing that was because those two actually have some kind of connection with Zero, a young lady of my acquaintance who figures in these voyages not half as often as she deserves or as I would like, and here’s a chance where at some point she might put in an appearance and the flaming alarm goes off.

The rest of the day has been spent sorting out some stuff for the spacerock festival about which I talked the other day. There’s well over a year before it becomes important but knowing me, I’ll lose track of time at some point and the date will be upon us before I know it.

It’ll take some research too because I know very little about most of the groups who appeared and who my friend’s son recorded when he was Hawkwind’s sound engineer – well, he was actually sound engineer for the Pink Fairies but there was an awful lot of overlap between the backroom staff of the groups who moved in that circle.

Later on, we were treated to one of the best football matches that I have seen in quite some considerable time. 2nd-bottom Aberystwyth Town were away at 5th-bottom Haverfordwest County in a game that they absolutely had to win, and which Haverfordwest needed to win too in order to keep their season alive

Consequently both teams threw everything that they had, including the kitchen sink, at each other for the whole 90 minutes and with the score at 1-1 with 10 minutes to go, I began to understand the meaning of the phrase “gripping the edge of your seat” because I was, and so, I imagine, was everyone else in the ground.

However it finished 1-1, not for any want of trying. And if you have a spare 90 minutes and want some decent entertainment, why not WATCH THE GAME yourself? If you’re a football fan you’ll quite enjoy it. I’ve even found you an English language commentary instead of the more usual Welsh

But one thing – well, more than one thing, but one thing in particular – impressed me with the Haverfordwest team today. They had their third-choice goalkeeper in between the posts today, a young lad called Zak Turner. Not only did he have an excellent game, he’s the first keeper whom I’ve seen for ages who would come off his line to intercept crosses like that Uruguayan goalkeeper Ladislao Mazurkiewicz who had an outstanding World Cup in 1970 and impressed me greatly.

They had some of my favourite burgers in LeClerc today so tea tonight was a burger on a bun with diced fried potatoes and a big salad. And that was absolutely delicious too. I really am eating very well these days, especially with the air fryer.

Tomorrow I have to make some pizza bases as I’ve run out. I should also be baking fruit buns and biscuits too but there’s not really much point as I’m not going to be here to eat them next week. I’ll be in hospital being poked and prodded about.

So a quiet day tomorrow then. About time too. I need to build up my strength for next week.

Friday 10th March 2023 – AFTER ALL OF …

… my exertions yesterday and the day before, discretion was the better part of valour today and I didn’t set foor out of my apartment.

And when you see what THE WEATHER WAS DOING this morning it’s hardly any surprise. Whoever took that video is a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

Last night I was in bed at my usual time and once again I had a great deal of difficulty going off to sleep. However I must have done at some point because when the alarm went off at 07:30 it shattered my eardrums. I’d been dead to the world.

Tons of stuff on the dictaphone too, none of which I could actually remember so it must have been a really deep sleep throughout the night. It started off with my brother and me in a car or bus or something. We reached the destination where we were going to have to drop off my brother. As he left he was saying that he thought that a certain task of renovation or some chore or other should be done on whatever vehicle we were in. I didn’t particularly see the need for that. In any case I wasn’t going to do it. Basically I told him to clear off. At some point my mother said that I wasn’t nicer to my brother but I told her what I thought of the situation as well

And then we had another one of these dreams where I was working long past my retirement date – quite a regular feature these days. I was completely fed up so I decided that when I’d go back into work on Monday I’d hand in 2 weeks notice and finish at the end of the month whether they liked it or not. There was still plenty of holiday time accruing to me so it would probably make it up to the 4 weeks notice but I didn’t really care all that much. I decided that I was going to retire and that was that. Then I awoke – and I must have been dreaming within a dream because I was actually still asleep, if you see what I mean – and it was 03:15. I remembered that the previous evening I’d been fixing the internet. When I went to the bathroom there was a massage on my phone. It was Liz asking me if everything was working fine. I tried to send her a message back but the keypad on my watch was so small that no matter how I tried I ended up sending some kind of garbled message to her.

And that will come as a surprise to many people because, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I can send garbled messages without making use of a small keypad.

And back in this dream later I was walking back up the Rue Paul Poirier back towards home. I heard someone whistle behind me so I turned round. It was one of my colleagues. He beckoned me to cross over the road to him for a chat. I went over the road but I actually awoke at that point and couldn’t remember what went on afterwards. And it’s very rare for me to dream about life in Granville, isn’t it?

Later on I’d had a message from my friend from Munich saying that he was on his way to visit me. It was quite late at night so I texted him to find out where he was. He said that he was just pulling into a fuel station 100 miles away for some fuel. I worked out that he would probably turn up at something like 03:00 or 04:00 and I’d be fast asleep in bed. He said that that’s not a problem. He’d be going to bed too as soon as he arrives

Finally I was bringing a girl back into Crewe from somewhere or other. I was in something of a rush but she said that she wanted to go back into Crewe so I said that I’d bring her. It ended up that she wanted to go up by Coppenhall, that area, which was well out of my way but I had her in the car now so I didn’t have much choice. On the way back we made a detour to go via Shavington because I had a notebook to drop off on someone on Park Estate. When we reached there, instea dof being the 3-bedroomed traditional semis that it is, it was all these horrible appalling dreadful high-rise buildings, the worst slums you’d see. We walked inside and they were dreadful. Everything was filthy and disgusting. We knocked on the apartment. Some woman answered the door. She was covered in cobwebs. There must have been 6 people sleeping in this room with clothes etc heaped up in a mess. The place was filthy. I’d never been in a place as disgusting as this. The person with me gave her the injection that she needed. Then we had to fight our way back out again. It really was the worst place in the world that I have ever visited in all my life and believe me – I’ve been in some places ….

Actually, I found that last episode to be extremely disturbing.

Today, I haven’t actually done all that much. I had a shower, and what was interesting about that was that I didn’t remember getting out of the bath afterwards. It must have been completely uneventful and that can only be good news. It must have been as close to normal as things can be right now.

The physiotherapist came rather later than planned too. We had a lengthy chat and decided that when I come back from the hospital with the report that they will probably give me, we’ll make plans. He’s going to try to get me in at this gym place where they do sports therapy. I had a consultation there last summer, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but I was overtaken by events.

And then I wrote some more text for one of the radio programmes. I have quite a nice collection now that I need to start recording at some point in the near future.

Tea tonight was a burger with pasta and veg. There have been so many special offers on vegan burgers just recently that it seems like I have the European Vegan Burger Mountain in my fridge and a couple of them are starting to go out of date. Consequently some of them need polishing off rather quickly.

There’s stuff in the freezer than needs eating too and I’ll have to deal with some of that at some point. Not the least reason being that there’s other stuff in the fridge that needs using and I could make all kinds of stuff with that if only there was some space in the freezer to freeze it.

There was football on the internet tonight. It should have been TNS against Y Bala but apparently the pitch at Oswestry was under a foot of snow. Instead the cameras went down the road from the studio to Cyncoed to watch Cardiff Metro play Y Drenewydd.

That match finished 0-0 without a great deal of goalmouth action, but it wasn’t a boring match by any means. It was quite interesting with two rather skilful teams trying to jostle their way into position for a shot on goal.

There’s some exciting news on the football front too. Cymru under-17s have won their way through to the next round of the European Junior Championship. There are three games taking place at the end of the month, against Iceland, Montenegro and a third team that I’ve forgotten. And my Welsh newsfeed service has won the right to broadcast them on the internet.

And then the Welsh part-time XI is playing the English part-time XI in a couple of weeks and they are broadcasting that match too.

So it looks as if we are going to be in for a foot-fest at some point. I’d better go to bed for a good sleep in order to prepare myself for all this excitement.

Monday 16th January 2023 – AND IN OTHER …

… exciting news today, when the alarm went off at 06:00 this morning I was busy adding the final touches to the radio programme that I was planning to prepare today.

Despite having gone to bed at the early time of 22:00 last night, at 02:28 I was still wide-awake and unable to go to sleep.

A short while later, still wide awake, I arose from the dead, made myself a coffee and by 03:00 I was sitting at the computer working on the radio programme. There’s no point pretending that I’m trying to sleep.

So by the time the alarms went off I was up and running and raring to go, so the first place I went to was the bathroom where I had a shower. I was hoping that maybe the nurse would come round and inject me and I need to be something like clean.

With no sign of the nurse though, by about 10:30 I was pretty well gone with the wind and I went to bed, where I slept for a couple of hours. I went off ona little wander here and there while I was asleep. I was somewhere in the country. There was a neighbour who was bad-tempered like the one who lives in Virlet. I was wandering around outside and saw that he had a lot of animals there. I walked that way to see what they were. He had a really vicious sheepdog thing that snarled and growled at me, pulled on his lead so I turned round and walked away from there

Rosemary had sent me a message while I was asleep so we had a good chat for a while once I awoke, and then I went for some more coffee and some food. It’s been a long day already.

During the afternoon I was extremely busy. There were some issues with my property in Canada that needed attention so I had an exchange of e-mails with the Provincial Government in New Brunswick. It’s nice to see someone who is quick and efficient.

Another thing that I’ve been doing is to shuffle some money around from one place to another. I have a feeling that I’m going to need to lay my hands on some money at some point in the future and as I’ve not touched my holiday fund since I went to the High Arctic in 2019 I need to bring it closer to home.

That’s not as easy as it might sound either and I had to rely on Rosemary to give me a little hand with one or two things. I’ve also had to send out a pile of e-mails to shake some people up and tell them to extricate their digits too.

One of my plans was to go outside to see how Caliburn is doing. But we’re in the middle of a hurricane right now. Just after 06:00 this morning a gust of wind of 162 kph was recorded. I made it outside with some rubbish to put into the bin but that was all that I was going to do because the wind was still roaring and quite literally it was blowing me over. I’m not as strong on my feet as I might be and I was nearly bowled over a couple of times so I came back in. I’ll have to have another go at some other time.

Tea tonight was a delicious stuffed pepper, with plenty of stuffing left over for my taco roll tomorrow. But with a Welsh lesson, the Social Services coming round to see me and then the physiotherapist, will I actually have time to eat it?

Friday 16th September 2022 – MEANWHILE, BACK AT …

aeroplane 78ASX pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… the ran … errr … apartment, I’ve been a busy little B today, and while you admire a couple of photos of unidentified light aeroplanes flying by overhead this afternoon, I’ll tell you all about it.

And for a change, I actually had a good night’s sleep. I was in bed at a reasonable time and there was nothing whatever on the dictaphone until the alarm went off.

Mind you, I’m pretty certain that I was awake at a couple of moments during the night and it’s quite possible that there was something going on, but rather unfortunately these days I’m becoming used to the idea of forgetting to dictate stuff.

As long as it’s not Zero, Castor or TOTGA then it’s not all that important. I’d hate to miss a voyage with one of them in it.

aeroplane 78ARY baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But do you know what?

With having the longest uninterrupted sleep (according to the dictaphone) that I’ve had just recently, when I awoke this morning I actually felt worse than I have done for a while. But isn’t that par for the course these days? It always happens like that.

So where did I get to during the night then? When the alarm went off this morning I was actually in Vienna. I’d gone with a couple of friends to see some woman whom we knew about refugees and to help them. We’d been there once before to do something with refugees but we decided that we’d go again. When the alarm went off I was in a disco while one of these women was dancing to some kind of obscure pop music. I was standing there with my hands in my pockets musing on events while the music was playing and everyone was dancing around. That’s where it got to when the alarm went off

While we’re on the subject of aeroplanes by the way … “well, one of us is” – ed … the French have a saying jamais deux sans trois.

F-GBAI Robin DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And sure enough a few minutes later an aeroplane did go flying over. And it’s one that we recognise too and can identify.

She’s actually F-GBAI, a Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the local aero club. She was picked up on radar at 16:12 as she flew down the coast, did a lap around Mont St Michel and flew back, coming in to land at 16:36.

So that’s either a sightseeing run or someone clocking up the hours for the renewal of his licence.

My photo was timed at 16:11 (adjusted) which means that she was just about to burst onto the local radar screen when I saw her.

The rest of the day was spent dealing with the photos from Jersey. Having run aground yesterday as I mentioned, I started from the other end and worked backwards. It was a good plan too because I managed to complete over 20 photos and write their notes until I ran aground yet again.

This time, there’s a delightful house at Fliquet that is clearly something special, but I can’t find a single word anywhere about it and it can’t be something that ought to be ignored.

Amongst the pauses today was of course one for my afternoon hobble around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022

And as usual I started off by going over to the wall at the end of the carpark to see what was going on down below.

“Going over” wasn’t exactly the word. “Blown over” is much more appropriate because the wind was quite savage this afternoon and I’d even had to take off my cap as soon as I was outside.

Only a handful of people down there on the beach this afternoon. That was bizarre because even though the wind was thoroughly wicked, it really was a glorious day and I quite enjoyed being out there right now. I’d have thought that there would have been many more people out there in it.

So I headed off along the path towards the end of the headland, admiring the island of Jersey on the horizon which was plainly visible today.

lighthouse cap fréhel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022My eyes were however focused at what I could see out along the coast in Brittany. Many of the headlands were quite visible but Cap fréhel, the one on with the lighthouse, was lost in the haze.

There was something out there in that direction that I could see with the naked eye so I photographed it to examine later to see what it was.

At first I thought that it might be the lighthouse itself but it looks too low down to the horizon and there is what looks like rigging attached to it at the top so I dunno.

We’ll have to pass on this one.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Not too many people out there on the car park today so I wasn’t overwhelmed.

However we did have a couple of people sitting down on the bench by the cabanon vauban this afternoon admiring what was (or wasn’t) going on.

They were probably getting their money’s worth looking at the aerial ballet taking place overhead because it was while I was here that we had all of the aeroplanes going past.

Not so much out at sea though. It was strangely quiet in the water today.

omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There was a lot going on at the channtier naval today.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we haven’t seen L’Omerta playing “Musical Ships” over at the Fish Processing Plant just recently. She won’t be playing again for a while because she’s come into the chantier naval.

She’s on blocks over there where Le Styx used to be and they’ve already started to work on her. Le Styx has gone back into the water by the looks of things so we’ll have to keep an eye out for her to see what she’s up to.

le poulbot black pearl pierre de jade briscard chant des sirenes omerta fishing boats chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And there’s even more changes down there too.

For a start, Massabielle is no longer there. And the unidentified boat has gone! And never called me “mother”! either. Her place has been taken by Black Pearl.

Next to her yesterday was Pierre de Jade but according to the radar, she’s in the inner harbour today tied to a pontoon so I’m not confused as to whether this is she and the radar isn’t correct for some reason, or whether this is a different boat.

She certainly looks the same to me so maybe she’s left her AIS transmitter behind when she was pulled up into the chantier naval. But I’m going for Pierre de Jade

catherine philippe trafalgar peccavi calean port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022When I reached the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour I had a look to see if I could see Le Styx but if she was there she was hiding quite successfully.

Plenty of other boats there today though. The white one with light blue and red is Catherine Philippe” and moored at the same pontoon behind her is Trafalgar who was there in the chantier naval for a while just recently.

On the other side of the pontoon in yellow and red stripes is Peccavi who appeared in the chantier naval on a couple of occasions just now.

But talking of Le Styx being well-hidden reminds me of the two soldiers who met in a barracks one afternoon
“I didn’t see you at camouflage parade this morning, Private”
“Thank you, Sarge”.

victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile, over on the far wall, Victor Hugo is back in town.

When I was looking at the radar last night, I noticed that she was back. It looks as if her work for the season is now over. And that was a pretty short season too. As I have said before … ” …and on many occasions too” – ed they need to be doing much more than this if the ferry service is to remain viable.

And I for one hope that it does. It’s why I came here. Next year I’ll plan things better and stay over in jersey a couple of days, if it’s possible.

It probably won’t be long either before her sister Granville comes back to port too. I don’t suppose that she’ll be working much longer either and her season will draw to a close.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Chausiaise is still tied up where she was yesterday too. She hasn’t been out anywhere today.

That was that really. Marité was down at the bottom of the harbour and Shtandart wasn’t and with nothing much else happening I wandered off back home for the last of my chocolate drink.

For a while I carried on with my notes and photos, and eventually went for tea.

There were some burgers that were well out of date so I had one of them with pasta and I’ll finish off the other one at some point in the near future. I’m not too bothered about frozen food right now but for reasons that will become clear I want to clean out the fridge and eating the food that’s in it is the best way of doing that.

Shopping tomorrow so I’m hoping for a restful night and a good sleep. But the way that things usually happen around here that’s hardly likely

There isn’t really much that I need but I have to go through the motions and see what’s about.

Football again tomorrow night. I missed it last weekend and I’m ready to curl up in front of a good internet connection and watch Y Drenewydd. But I can’t remember now who they are playing.

Tuesday 6th September 2022 – WHILE I WAS OUT …

rainstorm baie de mont st michel brittany France Eric Hall photo 6th September 2022… this afternoon, I noticed this rather enormous rain cloud out in the bay.

The wind was blowing from the south-east rather than from the north-west this afternoon, and blowing in spades as well. The cloud was down there in the south west though and so any change of direction in the wind could create a few problems.

Sure enough, about half an hour later the wind swung round 90° clockwise and about half an hour after that we had the rainstorm to end all rainstorms.

It didn’t last all that long but it was impressive while it happened and maybe tomorrow we might see some kind of change in the vegetation if we are lucky. It’s still looking quite burnt-out right at the moment.

Maybe tomorrow there might be some change in me too. A couple of weeks ago I was feeling burnt-out too, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. But I seemed to have improved – until I had that big fall on board Victor Hugo last week that stopped me dead in my tracks.

A good night’s sleep will probably do me a world of good too and last night I almost had it too. I only awoke a couple of times during the night and there was only one sound-file on the dictaphone.

But what a sound-file it was!

This was another really long, rambling dream that went on for ages. I was at school, in my room because we had little dormitories. Someone called me but I couldn’t think why. I went outside my room but couldn’t see anyone. I wandered round. In the end I found myself holding a young cat, a light-coloured tabby so I was walking around finding out what I was supposed to do with this cat. I must have walked around the entire school asking people questions about this cat. In the end I ended up in the secretary’s office. She explained to me that it was the cat out of their office. Could they have it back? Surprisingly I felt extremely disappointed having to hand back this cat because even though I didn’t have any equipment I would have quite happily taken it with me and kept it in my room. I told her that if she’s ever looking for someone to look after it for a while I’d be quite happy to do that. She replied “yes but there are a lot of people in the queue”. I was surprised at how disappointed I felt.

Later on there was some kind of festival going on in the school and there were loads of people milling around. I had some sandwiches and I was going off to find somewhere to eat but there was hot food being served so I wondered if this was going to be provided free. I ended up at a kind-of snack café where I could see the prices clearly displayed so I imagined that that would be the same everywhere. I went and found a seat where I could sit and eat my sandwiches. The guy there was Jolyon Robinson from school. He was going on about how few people were going round right now. I explained that most of them have probably gone into town to find a good restaurant. Wherever we went anywhere with the school and was staying on we’d go into town to find an Indian and eat Indians all over the UK. He thought that that was quite strange. I was rummaging around on the table and came across a bill for a restaurant. I said “there you are. Look at this”. I read out the items on the bill and the bill was something like £63:00 for 1 meal for 1 person. I noticed that the price for dessert was a flamenkuche which was £18:00. I said “ik kan een mooije flamenkucke gebacke” in Flemish. He looked at me strangely so I told him what it meant. I said that I wouldn’t pay £18:00 for one of these when I can make one in 20 minutes. Some woman sitting nearby came over and snatched the receipt away from me. She said “this is a receipt from (somewhere else). That’s wrong, what you are saying anyway” but I couldn’t understand at all about why it was wrong and why she was making such a fuss.

Strangely enough, with not travelling anything like as far as I used to do, the idea of adopting a cat is something that has gone round inside my head. For many years when I was on my own in the past I had a cat, my black cat “Tuppence” who used to do her best to chase away any girl who I brought home, and when I was married we ended up with four of them.

Despite having one of the best sleeps that I’ve had for quite a while, it was even so the worst morning that I’d had for quite a while about leaving the bed. I did beat the second alarm to my feet but only just. I was only half-dressed when it went off.

Back in here after the medication I transcribed the dictaphone notes, as you have seen, and the rest of the day was spent editing the photos from Jersey.

And that’s taking much longer than it should do, not because of any difficulty that I had with the editing, but finding out what was actually depicted thereupon. And it needs to be done too because after all, that was the whole point of going to Jersey in the first place

Right now I’m just off the coast here in Granville on my way home with another 15 or so photos to edit. And they won’t take too long to do seeing as I’m back home.

And aren’t they “famous last words”? We’ve heard all of that before.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 6th September 2022With nothing else exciting happening, I went out for my afternoon walk.

High winds and overcast skies were enough to put the willies up anyone this afternoon. There was hardly anyone about up on top of the cliffs so I wasn’t expecting to see anyone down on the beach this afternoon.

And so I wasn’t disappointed to find that the beach was absolutely deserted this afternoon. There wasn’t a soul about

There was however someone with a van working on the new car-park barrier that was installed last week but as soon as he saw me coming, he hopped into the van and cleared off.

As for the bust that was loitering around here for a couple of days, I haven’t seen that since I said something about it on Friday.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 6th September 2022Walking across the car park and down the side street to the viewpoint overlooking the port wasn’t easy. I was continually being blown about by the wind and when you are as unsteady on your feet as I am these days you’ll know all about it.

There wasn’t even one boat out at sea this afternoon and that’s no surprise either. Just have a look at the waves surging around by Le Loup, the marker light on the rocks at the entrance to the port.

No waves and spray splashing around at the base though. The wind is in the wrong direction for that today. We’ll have to wait for that until the wind veers back round to the north-west.

work on crane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 6th September 2022There was some work going on at the crane in the inner harbour.

The crane over there is the one that has recently been refurbished – at a cost not unadjacent to €80,000, so I’m told – but it looks as if there’s a guy down there giving the thing some further attention.

What with the barrier at our car park being adjusted just about a week after it’s been installed, it seems to be the thing these days that nothing seems to work as it should despite all of the care, attention and money that has been lavished upon it.

But on the subject of the cranes, I’m still dismayed that the gravel boats are no longer coming into the port. We haven’t seen one of those for a couple of years.

cancale brittany France Eric Hall photo 6th September 2022While I was up here on the cliffs I noticed that I could see the town of Cancale quite clearly.

While the view out to sea wasn’t all that much to write home about, the wind was keeping the air in the bay quite clear and the clouds were preventing too much reflection from the sun

Mind you, the rainstorm over there wasn’t doing the visibility much good. You can see how heavy it was.

Back here I had a coffee and then carried on with the photos until I ran out of steam. It’s quite hard to keep the concentration going for too long. At least, it is for me.

Tea was a taco roll with most of the rest of the stuffing, accompanied by rice and veg. It was delicious as usual.

Anyway, I’m off to bed in a moment. For some reason I’m feeling quite tired, although I haven’t done all that much today in the way of physical activity.

But what I am going to do it so try to walk with that crutch that I have in the cupboard from three years ago to see if that can encourage me to move around more. I’m fed up of being stuck around here leaning from wall to wall

In theory I could push on farther but I don’t have the confidence to do so right now. That walk back from the ferry terminal to here was a nightmare.

And I’m worried about what might happen if I fall over and can’t pick myself up, particularly when I’m very close to the edge of the top of a cliff.

Monday 25th July 2022 – THE WEATHER HAS …

waves sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… changed dramatically today, as you can see in this photo.

It’s cooled down dramatically, clouded over and a high wind has sprung up. So much so that we are having some impressive waves slamming into the harbour wall while I was out on my afternoon walk.

Contrast that with the situation over the last couple of weeks or so where the heat has been enough to blister a bunch of barnacles and toast a throng of tourists.

This was much more like the usual weather that we have throughout the year and made it feel so much more like home.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022The situation was reflected in what was going on down on the beach this afternoon.

Not too many people down there at all and of those who were, there wasn’t a soul in the water as far as I could see.

Anyway, that’s enough about that. My own day has been slightly better than the last couple of days. I only managed to crash out for about 40 minutes today, and seeing as I was up and about at 06:00 after a night that was rather later than I was hoping, I suppose that it’s not too bad.

Mind you it’s a far cry from the days when I could function properly and thoroughly on only 3 hours sleep, or have a working day of 32.5 hours non-stop on the road.

They were the Good Old Days. As A E Housman once famously wrote, “The happy highways where I went and cannot come again”

After the medication and checking my mails and messages, I sat down to prepare another radio programme. I was doing quite well too for quite a long time but I ended up not finishing until 11:30.

But then that’s the problem with choosing songs by Canadian folk groups, Cheshire-based space rockers and Californian cover artists who are so obscure that they don’t even have a biography listed anywhere on the usual pages.

Interestingly, as an aside I ended up writing a few things about the Mariposa Folk Festival at Orilia, Ontario, in 1968 from out of my head without undertaking any research whatever.

And guess what site my social network provider suggested that I should “like” shortly afterwards? I smell a rat, and I’m not talking about the contents of Baldrick’s apple crumble either.

While I was listening to the finished product I was sorting out my music and then I had a good session on the guitar, punctuated by my lunchtime fruit. It makes me wonder what my current weight may be. I haven’t weighed myself for a week.

Another thing that punctuated my guitar session was, rather regrettably, a crashing-out for about 40 minutes. and how I’m fed up of this. But then I’ve told you that before.

divers zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022For a change I was out for my afternoon walk at the usual time and after having inspected the beach, I headed off down the path towards the end of the headland.

Out there in the bay this afternoon was a zodiac. At first I thought that it might have been a fisherman or two but closer inspection revealed that it was full of Deep-End Dan and his mates.
“Don’t forget the diver!”
“Going down now, sir!”

No idea what they were after – it certainly wouldn’t be pennies thrown in the Mersey off the ferries – but we’ve seen a few training exercises taking place out there in the past.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Not too many people out there today in the wind so I had the path pretty much to myself this afternoon.

Mind you, there were crowds of people down there on the lower path, as I discovered when I reached the end of the headland. They were all congregating around the cabanon vauban at the end of the headland.

No-one out there fishing this afternoon though. I’m not sure whether that might be due to the notice that has been circulating for much of the day that because of high pollution levels, fishing in certain places is prohibited. I wonder if those “certain places” include the Pointe du Roc.

belle france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022The people who had actually made it down to the end of the headland had something to admire this afternoon.

Right down at the head of the bay there was a large boat moving around so I took a photo of it with the idea of enlarging and enhancing it when I returned home.

Having messed around with it for a while I could see that it was without any doubt at all Belle France. It looks as if she has taken a party of day-trippers and tourists down to have a gaze at Mont St Michel from the seaward sid.

Under certain circumstances it’s possible to walk out to Mont St Michel from furhter down the coast and it’s one thing that I’ve been intending to do, but not until my knee improves, if it ever will.

yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022On that not I wandered off on the path down the other side of the headland to see what was happening in the port.

First of all though, there was all kinds of things happening in the bay today. We can see that oen of the sailing schools has gone out regardless of the rough weather, and a few private yachts have gone out as well.

What intrigued me though were all of the cars parked down there on the sea wall. It seemed that there were plenty of fishermen out there. If fishing from the beaches or from the rocks is prohibited, then I suppose that fishing from the sea wall is the obvious place to go.

trawlers port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Plenty of other things happening in the harbour this afternoon too.

Although the tide is well in, the harbour gates to the inner harbour are not yet open. However many of the trawlers and other fishing boats have come into port and they are queueing up waiting for the green light.

And it is a green light too. There’s a red light that shines at the harbour gate when the gate is closed and once it’s open, the light turns to green.

Meanwhile, La Confiance II is still on her own in the chantier naval. No change in there.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022On my way back home I looked at the quayside at the loading bay o check on the freight.

The freight that we saw a couple of days ago is still there but we have also acquired a swimming pool now. So one of the Jersey freighters will be in quite soon to whisk it away. The swimming pools are quite valuable so they won’t leave them lying around for long.

Back here I made myself a coffee and then had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I’d been doing some research into a guy so I’d been to see someone who ran a company that was connected to him. Somehow I found myself inside the build so when I’d made sure that I had my paperwork and a piece of paper with my notes I rang the bell. This guy went to answer the door but he was horrified to find that I was already in there. he went shouting up and down but calmed down when he realised that I was serious and started to answer a couple of my questions. After a few minutes he was more interested in establishing my bona fides so he ended up interrogating me about myself. I was sitting on my windowsill by my kitchen with my mother inside. He was asking questions about my farm and solar energy etc. I wasn’t asking and he was asking “are you sure that that’s correct?”. I replied “yes”. This went on and on and I was wondering when we were going to get round to doing what we were supposed to be doing which was interviewing this particular guy.

And later it was the town fair on a Saturday morning. We’d all gone and ended up enjoying ourselves, sitting down to have a meal. They guy who was organising it was going to bring me home about 13:00 but every time he came near to where I was sitting he was side-tracked off somewhere by something else. he’d have to run away and do something else and then come back, but before he could come back he’d be side-tracked by someone else again and again and again. In no time at all it was 15:20. I was horrified about what people were going to say about me being out so long when I’d promised to be back by 13:00 but there was absolutely nothing that I could do except sit there and wait for this guy to come along and take me home. He was being continually swept away by everyone and everything and had no idea about making sure that I arrived home at the correct time when I’d promised to my parents that I would.

When I sit down and transcribe my notes they usually ring some kind of bell with me. I’m asleep when I dictate them but nevertheless transcribing them triggers off something in my subconscious. But for the last few days I have absolutely no recollection whatever of anything that has gone through my mind about what happened during the night.

And that’s bizarre.

Tea tonight was quite a delicious stuffed pepper. There’s plenty of stuffing left over so I imagine that there will be a taco roll tomorrow if they are still edible and then a good curry on Wednesday.

The food that I eat here is simple but it’s pretty tasty and pretty good. I do look after myself from that point of view. It will be nice when I can bring up those cupboards and install my new oven. But I’ve no idea when that might be

Tuesday 19th July 2022 – THAT WAS HORRIBLE

There can’t have been too many nights like last night.

When I finally went to bed I had every door and window open in the apartment and a fan on the chest of drawers going off blowing cold air onto my body – no cover over me of course.

The racket was indescribable and totally impossible to sleep but when I closed the doors and windows and switched off the fan the heat was indescribable and totally impossible to sleep. In the end I decided that if I wasn’t going to sleep, at least it’s a better plan not to sleep when it’s hot and noisy rather than not to sleep in the boiling hot, stifling and stuffy oppressive heat.

When the gale sprung up at about 02:00 I wished that there had been a third alternative too. Not even hanging a heavy weight to the end of the curtain would stop it flapping about.

When the alarm went off at 07:30 and I’d had such an awful night, and with a Welsh lesson to come, I decided that a lie-in would do me some good and there I stayed until 09!15

Having organised myself I went for Day One (well, Day Two really) of my Welsh Summer School. This tutor doesn’t seem to be as organised as the others whom I’ve had in the past. She’s one of these people who doesn’t believe in breaks. Instead she crashed on regardless and finished early.

However I can’t complain because
1) it was very nice of her to squeeze me into her course
2) the course is free

What I’ll have to do tomorrow is make a flask of coffee and have some biscuits standing by.

By the time I’d had my midday fruit (at some time considerably later than midday) I went out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As usual, I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end so that I could look down onto the beach.

There wasn’t a great deal of beach today. The tide cycle here is about 25 hours or so so every day when I go out the tide is about half an hour later and with the speed that the tide comes in and out here that can make a considerable difference.

There weren’t too many people down there this afternoon either. The weather was not quite as warm as yesterday and, strange as it might seem, at midday or thereabouts we’d had a little shower of rain for a couple of minutes.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While I was here I was looking out to sea as well.

And as I watched, one of the Joly France boats came out of the mist (because it was quite misty this afternoon) from the Ile de Chausey and was heading back towards the port.

The small upper-deck superstructure and the windows in “Portrait” format suggests that this is the newer one of the two.

And she has quite a crowd on board too. It looks as if they have had quite a busy time out on the island today. There are water supply issues on the island and I bet that this weather has been taxing their facilities.

d-eqdk Breezer B600 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And that wasn’t all the excitement either.

As I watched, a light aeroplane went flying by out in the bay from the south. And as I watched it performed a U-turn and headed back southwards.

When I enlarged the photo back home, I could see that she’s a German-registered plane, D-EQDK. She’s a Breezer B600 and we have in fact seen her before, on the 13th August last year.

According to the flight radar she took off from Avranches 16:04, headed north towards Granville, turned back southwards and then disappeared off the radar near Dinard at 16:27. My photo was taken at 16:13 (adjusted).

f-gbai robin dr 400-140b pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022She wasn’t the only aeroplane in the sky either.

A few minutes later another one went flying by in the bay. This one is one of our usual suspects, F-GBAI, a Robin DR 400-140b that belongs to the Granville Aero Club.

She’s been out and about a couple of times today but at the time that I saw her, according to her flight plan, she was still on the ground at the airfield and certainly wasn’t picked up on the radar.

Maybe someone has the time set wrong somewhere.

yellow autogyro baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Jamais deux sans trois – “never two without a third” as they say around here.

Sure enough 10 minutes later, out of the mist came the familiar rattle of another one of our old friends.

This is the yellow autogyro that we see quite regularly, taking passengers for a spin up and down the bay to see Mont St Michel and whatever else there is of interest in the area.

All we need now is the Loch Ness Monster and Godzilla and we will have had everything.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There were plenty of people wandering around on the path today kicking up the dust so I didn’t hang around.

Narrowly avoiding being squidged on the car park I went down to the end of the headland. No-one fishing off the rocks today but there were a couple of people sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban.

And they had plenty to see as well, like the Joly France ferry going past and the aerial display too.

Quite a few people down there on the lower path as well. The slightly cooler weather this afternoon has brought out the crowds.

les bouchots de chausey la confiance 2 monaco du nord 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Some more changes in the chantier naval today.

La Confiance II and Monaco du Nord II are still in there but over there on the left they’ve now been joined by one of the shell-fishing boats. Her number isn’t on the database that I have but I reckon that she may well be Les Bouchots de Chausey.

Whoever she is, there are several workmen already swarming all over her so it doesn’t look as if they are going to be hanging around.

Mind you, I’ve said a few things like that before and lived to regret it, haven’t I?

joly france chausiaise yacht ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Over at the ferry terminal there’s some congestion.

We have Chausiaise, the little grey, white and orange freighter, and also the two Joly France boats. The one that just arrived is the one at the back of the queue.

By the looks of things Belle France, the newest ferry, isn’t there. She’s not in the inner harbour either so I reckon that she’s probably still out there at the island.

Not much happening in the way of pleasure craft today though. That yacht that went sailing past in the background was the only one that I saw.

loading zodiac onto trailer port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Mind you, had I been out there 10 minutes earlier I might have seen a zodiac out there in the bay.

But as I went past just now, the zodiac was at the ramp underneath the Fish Processing Plant and there was a van and trailer there. By the looks of things they were loading up the zodiac onto the trailer ready to take it away.

L’Omerta was still there too, but she was on her own. Everyone else who was tied up there yesterday has now cleared off.

Having taken my photos, I cleared off too. I have plenty of things to be doing this afternoon and not much time to be doing them either.

Granville victor hugo port de granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Things seem to be heating up in this ferry dispute too.

In the inner harbour Victor Hugo has now been joined by the newer Granville. They are both tied up there now and that seems to be that for the moment.

It would really be nice if this dispute could be resolved and we could get back into the business of running a ferry service. Right now we seem to be going one step forward and two steps back.

Incidentally, Granville, although the newer of the two ferries, is a second-hand boat. She was built new as the Bornholm Express in 2006 and sailed between Simrishamn in Sweden and the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea and was last seen on that service in 2014.

lorry trans shipping porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022One of the problems of living in a medieval walled city is that the streets and gates aren’t designed for modern traffic.

The Porte St Jean into the old town is quite small and many larger vehicles can’t enter. They have to park up outside the walls and arrange some kind of trans-shipment of their cargoes.

Just like this van delivering wine, in fact. I suppose that his cargo is destined for one of the restaurants in there.

Back here I had a glass of cold coconut drink and then sat down to transcribe the dictaphone notes. I must have gone to sleep at some point during the night.

There was some kind of tennis match taking place. I don’t really remember who it was or what it was about or anything but I think that one of the participants was quite young. There was something about an advertising campaign where you could have stencils to stencil over your vehicle. The company would give you money for doing that kind of thing so that they would have the publicity from the moving vehicle as well as anywhere else.

And then we had to go to stay in a dormitory for some reason, a load of us. It wasn’t separated by sex at all for young people. I found a bed right by the alleyway, the walkway in this dormitory in the hope that a young girl whom I knew would sleep in one of the other beds around me. She was with a group of people so hopefully she might go on the other row and be down this end. I had to go to the bathroom. It was again a communal bathroom and wasn’t restricted by sex so there were all kinds of people coming and going, including one rather insistent girl while I was using the facilities. That was rather uncomfortable. Then I had to hurry back to make sure that I had my bed and that no-one else had it and hoped that this girl would have the bed that was across the walkway from mine.

There was something about a bookstore. all the books were in a total mess and it needed some arranging. I was there doing some work. a young girl kept on coming in to look at the books. She would also come in to chat to me and we became quite friendly. It turned out that she was leaving school and didn’t know what to do. I asked her why she didn’t want to work in a bookshop with us. We always had vacancies and she would enjoy it. Of course I had a two motives. One was to be nice to her and the second was to get to know her much better but that’s beside the point isn’t it?

Just recently I seem to have spent a lot of time thinking about young ladies. I must be becoming broody or something.

I forgot to mention that one of the offices in this dream had a sheep’s skull nailed to the door as a kind of talisman. Someone else who came to see me once and there was a dispute in the corridor which was upsetting. I explained that but it made no difference about people having disputes as long as they weren’t with each other.

Someone with whom I used to work in Chester was teaching at the school where I was working. He came up to me in a class and we were talking. “Do you know what I would really like? I would like to go on holiday to the Isle of Thanet and for you to come with me” which I thought was really nice. We had a really good chat about the Isle of Thanet and me going on about things that we did when we were kids and things that my mother used to tell us that she did etc. This talk went on for quite some time about all kinds of things.

My mother lived in Birchington as a child until she and her sister were evacuated to Frome in Somerset when Manston Airfield down the road came under attack. She had plenty of stories to tell us and in fact we used to go down there every summer in the late 50s and early 60s while she still had her connections there to see things for ourselves.

The guy from Chester wanted to know when I’d be free but what he didn’t know and I didn’t tell him was that I was retiring at the end of the school year so I would be free all the time. There was no case of needing a diary or anything to write stuff down but I didn’t want it generally known quite yet that I was retiring so I didn’t say anything to him while he was discussing everything.

And that’s a recurring theme too these days

However I couldn’t keep going and at about 18:30 I crashed out. Only for about 20 minutes and that’s no surprise after the night, but I wish that I could have kept going.

Tea was a taco roll with rice and then I came in here to write my notes.

Rosemary rang me up for one of our marathon chats and that prevented me from going outside to find out why the Air-Sea Rescue helicopter was hovering around. By the time that I could go outside, it had gone.

So bedtime now. Let’s see how we get on tomorrow with this Summer School. It’s not like the usual ones that i’ve had before but it’s free and at least it keeps me interested and helps me remember what I might otherwise forget.

That has to be some kind of positive anyway.

Wednesday 8th June 2022 – THE EXCITEMENT TODAY …

… has really been intense. I took out not one but actually two loads of rubbish to the bins today – one load of general waste and another of the plastic and glass. Can life really be any more exciting that this?

It did actually remind me of the time when I used to go camping, when all the excitement was in tents, but that’s another story completely.

Once again, I was wide-awake for a good while before the alarm went off and I was up quite promptly when it finally did ring.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022First task after I’d had my medication was to make a big pile of fruit buns as I’d run out.

There’s a pile of brazil nuts ground into a coarse flour, plenty of dried fruit of all descriptions (although I forgot the desiccated coconut), sunflower seeds, a banana and 250 grammes of wholemeal flour.

It ended up making enough dough for 12 fruit buns and they really are delicious – I had one of them for breakfast with my coffee. I seem to have the hang of making them now.

There are enough now in the cake tin to last me until Saturday and the rest are in the freezer ready to be brought out next week.

Not long after I’d finished making the dough and while it was busy proofing, I had a ‘phone call. Apparently my decision to no longer prepare any live concerts is creating waves. Would I go for a coffee with admin on Friday morning?

Apparently it was an “automatic server upgrade” that caused the problem, although who in their right minds would set upgrades on a broadcasting server to “automatic” is beyond my comprehension. You only want it to upgrade when there’s someone there with it supervising.

And “not many people listen to the broadcasts anyway” and “yours wasn’t the only programme to be lost” are not phrases that I would actually use to soothe a troubled breast.

Once I’d dealt with all of those issues and had breakfast, I spent the morning writing about “Clothes” and “When I was a child” as revision for my Welsh exam, playing my acoustic guitar set and then (rather regrettably) crashing out for well over an hour.

As a result I ended up with rather a late lunch again today.

After lunch I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There was something about Ukrainian refugees being made welcome wherever they went, a restaurant having these Ukrainian refugees in and giving them a meal free, making sure that they sat in the window where everyone passing by could see them. I can’t remember any more than that

And then I crashed out yet again, for another hour or so. This is becoming far too much of a bad habit that I wish that I could break.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022As a result I was late going out for my afternoon walk again.

Nevertheless I headed off across the car park to see what was happening down on the beach this afternoon. And there wasn’t a soul down there today.

Mind you, you can tell what kind of weather we were having. One look at those waves will tell you that the severe winds that we had for several months earlier in the year are now back with a vengeance.

That’s enough to keep anyone indoors right now. No-one would want to be sunbathing in this storm and I don’t blame them for a moment.

thora baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022The sea was quite rough out in the bay and I did notice something struggling to make headway against the waves.

From this distance I couldn’t make out what it was so I took a photo of it so that I could enhance it when I returned to the apartment with the hope of being able to identify it.

And once I’d blown it up (because I can do things like that despite modern anti-terrorism legislation) I could see that it was the little Jersey freighter Thora battling her way through the waves on her way back to St Helier. She must have come in on the morning tide.

There were only one or two people on the path up here this afternoon – the wind was keeping everyone away from here too – so I had it pretty much to myself as I wandered around on my little circuit.

kite surfing baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There was no-one on the bench at the cabanon vauban which is no surprise because they would have been blown off the end of the headland in this storm.

And so I carried on walking down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port where a couple of kites caught my attention.

As they came into view from behind the harbour wall I could see that they were actually kite-surfers being pulled along by the kites in the wind. They certainly had the right day for it today.

Apart from Thora, they were the only other things out there on the water and that’s not really a surprise either in this weather. You won’t find any of the sailing schools out there on a day like this.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022But some of the Ile de Chausey ferries must be out and about somewhere this afternoon.

The only one in port is Belle France, the newer one of the three. The two Joly France boats aren’t anywhere around the harbour so they must be over at the island. Good luck to those who are coming back on board in this storm.

In the chantier naval there’s no change in occupant. Still the posh new cabin cruiser and the catamaran and that’s your lot. Things have gone a little quiet down there just now.

But apparently L’Ecume II who was in there being repainted for so long is receiving rave reviews for her new appearance. That’s a good advert for the chantier naval.

omerta ch638749 pescadore port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Meanwhile, over at the fish processing plant, our game of Musical Ships continues.

Gerlean is now no longer there this afternoon but L’Omerta is back again from her sojourn in the inner harbour. And tied up behind her is the little trawler Pescadore.

Back here I had a coffee and then fell asleep yet again for another hour. I think that i’ve spent more time asleep today that I have been awake and that’s a dreadful thought. I telephoned Ingrid too but she was busy and she’ll call me back tomorrow.

Having not done any Welsh revision yesterday I wrote some more notes on “Last Weekend” and “Family and Friends”. And the latter one is not very long. I’ve also had the bass out and worked out a couple of numbers off this playlist that I was sent the other day.

Tea was a burger on a bap with potatoes and veg, and now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed. But I’m wholeheartedly sick of this continual falling asleep. Obviously it wasn’t this medication that was causing it because while things improved for a couple of days I’m back to square one. I think that tomorrow I’ll write to the hospital, tell them about what’s happening and see what they suggest.

Not that I’ll expect too much from them. Their aim is to keep me alive as long as possible regardless of my quality of life. Mine is all about my quality of life and I don’t care about longevity.

Sunday 29th May 2022 – DESPITE IT BEING …

… a Sunday today, I’ve actually been rather busy. And it’s not like me on a Sunday, is it?

It actually started off like any Sunday ought to have started, by having a nice lie-in. And to a reasonable time as well. None of your middays or anything like that but I was wide awake at 10:05 and by 10:30 I was actually up and about. I’m quite happy about that.

After the medication I started to hunt down the paperwork that I need to complete my tax return. Luckily, the banks have organised themselves correctly and a search on their sites reveals something called “fiscality declarations”. It’s just a case of downloading them and then printing them off.

For a change, I can actually find my pension certificate from Belgium. Last year, my Belgian old-age pension totalled €403:58. Spend, spend, spend, hey?

Unfortunately, there’s a slight problem with my pension from the EU. I need a declaration from them about the tax-free status of my pension from them but as you might expect, their web site is down at the moment.

When I had a look a couple of days ago, the EU’s website was OK but the web site of one of the banks was down. It looks as if they are all taking it in turns to confound everyone and make our tax returns late.

After lunch I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I was in the army. A group of us had to go and investigate a chimney from the inside. The vertical transition up and down was easy enough but going from side to side, horizontal transition, was difficult. I had to go first. People were keeping a close eye on what I was doing. I had to call back every couple of minutes to explain the procedure. It was quite complicated to try to move horizontally in this chimney rather than vertically so everyone was keeping close tabs on me. They were pretty impressed with my progress. Someone was telling me about the cables he’d used when he was doing it. He’d plug the electricity cables into a house’s socket but for some unknown reason that had caused certain problems and the light only worked at certain times

And then I’d been away on holiday for several weeks and had taken a whole ton of stuff with me. When I came back to the office and my car I had it all in the office with me ready to move down to the car park. Someone reminded me about a book that he’d lent me. I didn’t remember actually taking it with me. I thought that it must be at home so I went to explain to him. He started to talk to me but then went off to talk to someone else. This happened two or three times. In the end I was fed up of waiting. I went back and started to search through everything that I’d taken with me. I couldn’t find anything there that related to this book at all. There were all sorts of things like 7-inch records, tons of paperwork, all kinds of stuff. Then I thought about how I was going to take all this home. From my office to the car was quite a trek. I’d have to do about a dozen trips to move all this. I thought that I could stick it all in my storage locker and take it home bit by bit over the period of the next few days. I went off to look for a trolley to load it all on so I could take it all round to my storage locker but it was strange that I couldn’t find that book in all this stuff that I had with me. This guy only seemed to be interested in making a scene about his book rather than making genuine enquiries about where it is and what had happened to it.

And then I was also having a laugh at the daughter of my friend Erika in Atlanta, Georgia, who is just 10 years old. According to Erika’s social network, Harper was going over to a friend’s house a few buildings away.
Erika: “Ok, what do we do if someone tries to grab you?”
Harper: “Kick him in the balls and yell ‘FIRE’!”
Erika: “Ha, right, but that’s not a good word, it’s ‘testicles’.”
Harper: “Ok, kick him in the balls and yell ‘TESTICLES’!”
Erika: “You know…that might work too.”.

Kids of that age are wonderful, aren’t they?

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk as usual.

There was plenty of sun this afternoon but the strong winds that we had earlier in the year are now back again. For that reason I wasn’t expecting to see too many people out there this afternoon.

And I was right as well. The wind seems to be keeping them all indoors this afternoon. Everywhere was quite deserted, even the car parks up here. It wasn’t like yesterday at all when you could hardly move around down there because of the crowds.

Nobody up in the air either. I would have expected to have seen a few Birdmen of Alcatraz out and about in this weather.

yachts ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022What else I would have expected to have seen would have been fleets of boats out there just offshore having a good run around on a pleasant Sunday afternoon.

However it looks as if everyone has now gone back to Paris now that the long weekend is over. There wasn’t anything at all just offshore. All that I could see was right out at the Ile de Chausey where there was a handful of yachts milling around this afternoon.

No speedboats, no cabin cruisers, no fishermen. “No shipwrecks and nobody drownding. In fact, nothing to laugh at at all” as the old song goes.

And so I headed off slowly down the path towards the end of the headland to see what was happening there.

cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022One thing that can be said about the day today was that visibility was amongst the best that we have had for a while.

The other day I showed you a photo of St Helier but I can do even better than that today. Even with the naked eye I could see the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel this afternoon and considering that that’s about 70kms away, that’s quite impressive.

One of these days I really will post those photos of the Cap Fréhel lighthouse that I took when we sailed down that way on Spirit of Conrad two years ago. I haven’t forgotten but like most things these days, I never seem to have the time to do anything.

helicopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Yesterday while we were out for our afternoon walk we were overflown by the air-sea rescue helicopter.

Today, someone else has had his chopper out. We were overflown by yet another helicopter as we walked across the lawn at the end of the path.

And this is a helicopter that I don’t recognise. I’m not sure whether or not we have seen it before and unfortunately from this distance I can’t read the registration number that it painted on her tail boom so I’ve no idea who she is.

All of the arrivals at the airfield this afternoon are aeroplanes whom we know for one reason or another so it’s not likely that she went in to land there.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022With no-one in my way and no cars to knock me over on the car park I had a safe passage down to the end of the headland this afternoon.

And as usual, we had a few people sitting down there on the bench by the cabanon vauban admiring the view.

Not that there was much view to admire this afternoon because there wasn’t a single boat out there in the bay this afternoon. I’ve no idea where they have all gone today, unless they have all gone home.

But there are still five weeks to go before the schools break up for summer and then we’ll know all about tourism and no mistake.

cancale brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022A little earlier I mentioned the really good view that we were having this afternoon.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a decent view of Cancale, away across the bay in Brittany so it seemed to be the right moment to deal with that.

We were actually there five years ago and didn’t take a single photo because we couldn’t find a place to park. And then we were there with Spirit of Conrad but we never stepped ashore.

Why I was there 5 years ago was that I was looking for a hotel for the night and one came up that was 18 kilometres away “in Cancale” so I booked it. Of course, as I was to find out later, that’s 18 kms as the crow flies and I ended up driving almost 90 kms around the bay to reach the hotel

fishermen pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022We had a few more fishermen out there on the rocks this afternoon.

Not engaged in the peche à pied but using a rod and line like the guy was using the other day when we saw him pull a fish out of the water. These three here didn’t have the same amount of success though but then again, I don’t think that anyone was actually expecting them to.

Mind you, one of them did have a bucket so I suppose that he was having certain expectations.

And who knows? Maybe I might have seen him catch something had I waited around long enough but I had places to go, things to do, people to see etc.

yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Before I head for home, I had to take a photo of the latest arrival at the chantier naval.

It’s not exactly what I would call a serious piece of maritime equipment and I’m sure that they don’t need the services of the chantier naval to do what needs to be done to it, but as Marechal MacMahon once famously, said, “j’y suis – j’y reste”.

Back here I made a coffee and started work again as I had plenty of things to do. Firstly, I had some home-made bread to make seeing as I had run out. And so I mixed up a big batch of dough and left it to proof for a while.

Before I’d gone out I’d taken the last load of dough out of the freezer and by know that had defrosted so I kneaded it, rolled it out and then pout it on the pizza tray.

By now the bread was ready for its second kneading so I dealt with that and then came in here for a bash on the guitar for a while.

vegan pizza home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Later on the bread went into the oven and while it was baking I assembled the pizza and that went into the oven when the bread was cooked.

And here are the finished products. The pizza was quite delicious as usual – much as it pains me to say it, going back to commercial bleached flour was the right decision – and I’ll tell you about the bread at lunchtime tomorrow.

But right now I’m off to bed. I have a 06:00 start in the morning and a radio programme to prepare. High time that I organised myself better than I am doing. I’m never going to make any progress if I don’t.

Thursday 24th February 2022 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… a few photos of the storm that we had today pushing the waves up and over the sea wall in the harbour, let me tell you of a most astonishing coincidence.

My brother’s birthday is the 3rd of September, and that’s the date that World War II broke out. And it looks very much as if my birthday is the day that World War III broke out.

What fills me full of dismay is just how stupid the human race can be, seeing the damage that several World Wars have caused to the whole of the World, that it departs on another orgy of massacre and destruction.

It makes me wonder why I’m bothering having my hospital treatment. Who would want to live in a World as stupid as this one?

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Last night I was feeling in such a depressing mood that when I finished writing up my notes I started to listen to QUADROPHENIA by The Who.

It’s one of the best albums ever recorded and brings back many happy memories of a drive down to South London one weekend in mid-May 1974 to see The Who in concert at Charlton Athletic’s football ground.

We had my old MkI Cortina, PMB270D, a battery-powered tape player and just one cassette tape – “Quadrophenia” – and when we returned to Chester where I was living at the time the guy whose tape it was gave it to me to keep.

And I still have it too, even though I’ve long-since replaced it with a CD.

It’s an album that brings back many happy memories of that Summer and every time I hear it, it brings back a bad attack of nostalgia.

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And hence, having listened to it round and round, it was almost 02:00 when I fell into bed to go to sleep.

Once I dozed off I went off on a series of probably the most extraordinary journeys that I have had for quite some considerable time.

The start was a long, rambling dream that I had but I can only remember when we were on board ship. I was making breakfast for these two girls – it was muesli and two teacakes. For some unknown reason the teacakes just wouldn’t toast. They were taking all day. In between I was doing a couple of other things. For some reason, one of those things took far longer than it ought to be done. I suddenly remembered the teacakes just as someone else said something about them so I dashed back to the galley and they were there under the grill but they were on fire. Everyone was really surprised and concerned by this but bread catching fire under a grill when you are toasting it is no big deal. J simply pulled them out with a pair of scissors and put some new ones under. But for some unknown reason this seemed to develop into some kind of major situation and there was no need for it at all

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022But there was someone else. I can’t remember now where I was but I was with someone else. There were lots of pets around. For some unknown reason they had a lion as a pet. It was in a room with me and someone else . It was being rather playful, trying to nip me. Then I could see that it was starting to lose its playfulness and the nips started to become more serious. I kept on pushing the animal away but it kept on coming back. In the end I had to insist to someone that they came along and removed it because I could see that this was going to end in tears if we weren’t careful.

And then we had something involving trams. There was some question that I was coming home from work, something like that, and I’d met these 3 girls. 2 of them I knew and the other one I didn’t. I found the 3rd one quite attractive so I wanted to get to know her better. As it happened they reached the tram stop at more-or-less the same time that I was walking back from work so we started to chat as a group of 4, these 3 girls and me. I suppose that it must have become pretty obvious to the other 2 exactly what I was up to. The thing that surprised me most though was that I was coming back from work and I’d been working on cars. I was in oily clothes and had oily hands. I was hardly the kind of boy that would be respectable but it didn’t bother these 3 girls at all. On one occasion I reached the tram stop just as they were alighting but the girl whom I liked and one of the others alighted so I waved “hello” but they disappeared off. I wondered what on earth was happening here. The 2nd girl came over and said “don’t worry about those 2. They’ve just nipped back to (I think her name was Jane, this 3rd girl) they’ve just nipped back to Jane’s house so that she can fetch her cloak and they’ll be back. Something came up about the address. It was “Toxteth Road” and I was trying to think why I knew about Toxteth Road and why it seemed to be so significant about this particular moment.

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022I’m trying to think where I reached with this because it might be that I stepped back into the same dream or else I’ve remembered something different. There was one occasion when I was on my way back home. I was coming in a different way past this tram stop so I went to sit somewhere below it where I could see them alight. I couldn’t find a good spec to sit where I could survey the tram stop. I ended up in the square sitting on a plastic chair where I could see the tram stop about 22 metres away. At that moment someone else whom I vaguely knew turned up. We started chatting and I basically explained that I was waiting here for someone and we carried on talking for a while. Suddenly I realised that the girls hadn’t turned up. I happened to mention it to him and he said “to be honest, they know other people and there’s someone who hangs around that girl who is 55 and they go round there some times. You’ll probably find it extremely difficult to move him out of this girl’s orbit”. I burst out laughing and said “I can’t even get a girl in a bloody dream, can I?”. His ears pricked up and asked “what’s all this about dreams?”. I explained that this was a dream, that I was very interested in dreams and I’d been keeping records of my dreams since that University course 25 years ago when I volunteered to be a guinea pig for the experiment. He was most interested and we had quite a chat about that. But imagine being in a dream and knowing that it’s a dream and talking to someone about it being a dream when one is actually in a dream oneself and being able to recall so much factual information out of one’s subconscious when one is in a subconscious state.

Unbelievably, I stepped back into this dream yet again later on, and how many times have I ever done this before – the same circumstances and characters three times?. Not very many at all, if any. This time we were all in a house, this girl included. She was sorting through some things and on her rubber dinghy she had some paddles. She needed some stuff to clean them. She’d seen across the road in the distance a marine supplier’s so I suggested that we went. We collected our things together but as it was rather cold I went to find my leather jacket. I couldn’t find it, and the cats weren’t sleeping on it so “never mind, I’ll go without”. The 2 of us set off outside and I took hold of her hand and she took hold of mine. We skipped off down the street and across the main road to the other side. She was saying something about if her friends saw her like this with me, what would they think?. I burst out laughing and said “oh just tell them that I’m a dirty old man but I have plenty of money”. She said “dirty? You do wash, do you?” and I replied “ohh yes, on special occasions” and we skipped across the road and skipped up the steps and we saw the sign that said “marine market” and skipped off that way.

And do you know what? That was the happiest that I have ever been for an extremely considerable period of time, probably about for ever in fact, and it was a shame that it actually happened in a dream and not in real life. I should be so lucky. There’s definitely something missing in my life, something that I will never ever recapture – except maybe once a couple of years ago, but the World is not ready to hear that story quite yet.

Finally, I was with Laurence and Roxanne. We were in some country like the Soviet Union, somewhere like that, and we had to go north to a town called Brest (not, presumably the Brest-Litovsk that’s on the border with Poland). We ended up at a railway station quite late at night. There was a large queue so Laurence told Roxanne to stand in the queue until it reached the front. When it did, she went to take over and came back with a pile of tickets. She siad that there was a return ticket for Roxanne but we only have two single tickets. We ended up in a hotel somewhere, a cheap hotel that wasn’t too bad. The next morning we had to pack but there was tons of stuff to pack so it was good that we had some expanding rucksacks but even so there was still quite a struggle. I couldn’t find Laurence. I heard some noise outside the room so I went and found her scrubbing the floor of the corridor. I asked why and she said “you have to make the place tidy when you go”. I replied “yes, tidy is one thing but it looks as if you are working here”. We were arranging all our things. I remembered that when we had set out on this journey there had been quite a few of us and I was ready to go but everyone else wasn’t. It took until really late at night for them to prepare themselves to leave and half of them weren’t ready even then and had to go next morning to buy some stuff while we were away. All in all it was a thing of total chaos, this particular trip. If we had all been properly organised when we set out, none of this would have happened.

When Rosemary had telephoned me yesterday, she said that she would phone me today to wish me a happy birthday. “Not too early” I said and so, sure enough, at 09:15 she phoned me up.

Anyone who rings me up at that time of morning when I’m having a lie-in will hear nothing but a series of grunts and so I’m afraid that the conversation didn’t last very long.

However there was no possibility of my going back to sleep after that no matter how hard I tried. And I did try too – all the way up to 10:50 when I finally abandoned the idea and crawled out of bed.

After the medication the rest of the morning (and a little of the afternoon too) was spent transcribing the dictaphone notes. I’m not sure that there has ever been a night when I’ve travelled so far and with so much emotion.

No breakfast this morning so I had a brunch this afternoon, porridge and toast with plenty of coffee. And then much of the rest of the afternoon was spent acknowledging messages and speaking to Ingrid on the phone who rang me back to send me some birthday greetings

storm beach rue du nord baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And then I went off for my afternoon walk.

Yesterday I made the point that the gale-force wind that we have been having for the last while seemed to have died down. And how I wish that I’d kept my moth closed as the wind was back today, and with a vengeance as well.

You can tell that just by looking at the sea out here in the Baie de Granville. We didn’t even see waves like that at the height of Storm Useless. It was no surprise that there was no-one down there this afternoon, despite the sun.

trawler ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022However, having a look around out at sea, I was surprised to see that there was a trawler out there just off the Ile de Chausey.

When Storm Useless was blowing, all of the fishing boats remained in harbour, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but today the winds were stronger and the waves were rougher than they were back then but nevertheless here we are.

We’ve seen a trawler out there for the last few days and although I couldn’t identify it, this one is certainly a different one than whoever was out there before.

And to take this photo, I had to find a suitable wall on which to prop the NIKON D500 because the wind was wobbling it around in my hands.

waves rocks marker light pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Yesterday, I posted a photo of the marker light on the rock just offshore here.

Today, I’m rather earlier than I was yesterday and so you can see the difference in the height of the water even over such a short space of time. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … we have some of the highest tides in Europe.

There wasn’t anyone else out there this afternoon and that’s no surprise because the wind was wicked out here. At one point I was having to walk crab-like along the path in order to advance, and when the wind suddenly dropped for a moment I almost ended up over the cliff.

storm le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022As I reached the lighthouse I had a look over the car park to see what was happening in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Sometimes the bay over there is in the wind shadow where the waves are quite calm, but not today. Le Loup, the light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour is being battered by the wind and waves this afternoon.

Round the corner actually in the bay the situation was even worse as you have already seen, with the waves slamming into the sea wall. I wasn’t going to hang around spending too long watching and so I headed home in the wind.

Back here, no coffee. I’ve already had too much of that today. But my coffee cake really was delicious. I can’t believe that I’ve actually made a cake that has come out as well as this – a vegan cake with no eggs in it either.

Tea tonight was a slice of pie with potatoes, vegetables and gravy. And that was really delicious. I cut it into 8 slices and the other 7 are in the freezer – for once there was actually some room in there. The filling wasn’t up to much because it was a rather ad-hoc mixture but I’ll do better than this when I prepare one properly instead of dragging something unknown out of the freezer.

So that’s that. I’m going to bed very soon ready to restart tomorrow. If there is a tomorrow. We are living in very worrying times, for all kinds of reasons. But another journey tonight like that one last night and I’ll feel so much better. I wish I knew who she was.