Tag Archives: kite surfing

Sunday 31st July 2022 – I’VE ACTUALLY BEEN …

jet blast st martin de brehal Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 31 July 2022… out and about today, just for a change.

There was a group called “Jet Blast” entertaining the lunchtime crowds at the summer street market at St Martin de Bréhal up the coast from here and Laurent had sent me a mail to ask me if I would like to go.

It meant setting an alarm this morning and regular readers of this rubbish will recall how well that goes down on a Sunday, but it’s high time that I got out and about to changer mes idées as they say around here.

It’s pretty much common knowledge that most people think that I ought to get out more often.

As a consequence of my early start (and isn’t 09:50 an early start on a Sunday?) I was early in bed for a Saturday night. Not quite before midnight but there wasn’t all that much in it.

It was a highly mobile night with tons of stuff on the dictaphone but I didn’t have time to transcribe it. I didn’t even have time for the medication because the side-effects take a while to work. Instead, I went and had a shower and a good clean-up. I need to look pretty.

Bang on time to the second Laurent rang the bell so I went downstairs, grabbing a raincoat on the way because it looked grey and overcast. And then we headed off.

st martin de brehal Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It’s been several years since I’ve been to St Martin and I’d almost forgotten what it looked like.

And with it being the summer market, the place was packed. We were lucky enough to find a car parking place within staggering distance of the centre of the town which was just as well because I’m not as mobile as I used to be.

And then we walked down the road into town past some of the really nice houses and Laurent filled me in with a few of the secrets of the owners of the properties.

The larger places are mainly second homes of wealthy people from Paris who have all kinds of skeletons in their cupboards that only the locals know.

st martin de brehal Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022The main street was closed to traffic and that was where the commerçants had set their stalls out.

You could buy almost anything here this afternoon, and there were all kinds of people walking around carrying all kinds of things that they had purchased.

Even the local lifeboatmen – the Sauveteurs de Mer – had a stall selling tee-shirts and similar in order to raise funds.

The cafés and restaurants were packed as well and trying to find a place to have a coffee was simply not possible this morning.

st martin de brehal Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Instead we walked down to the promenade to see what was happening there.

The tide doesn’t come in anything like as much as it does at Granville down the coast so there’s always quite a few people enjoying the beach at all hours. Except, of course today, because I really was thinking that it was going to rain and so did everyone else by the looks of things.

The likelihood of rain doesn’t make any difference to anyone who fancies a dip in the sea hence the two people who were brave enough to do in there this morning and good for them

marité st martin de brehal Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022I was glad that I’d taken the NIKON D500 and the 70-300mm LENS with me.

As usual, I was having a good browse around out at sea and was able to pick up some sails out there on the horizon. It didn’t take much identifying to work out who she was. She was of course Marité out and about this morning in the bay.

As for the boat that was with her, I couldn’t recognise her and there wasn’t anything shown on the radar so whoever she was, she didn’t have a working AIS on board so that was that.

la granvillaise st martin de brehal Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022You don’t need an AIS beacon to tell who she is.

The configuration of her sails is enough to suggest that she’s La Granvillaise and in fact when I returned home and enlarged and enhanced the image I could see the writing of her registration number on her sails.

There was actually quite a lot of maritime traffic out there this morning but down at sea level it’s not always easy to make it out. I’m much happier at 50 metres above sea level on my cliffs back home.

Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And talking of the cliffs back home, it’s amazing what you can see with a good zoom lens.

The long tall building in the centre is the College Malraux and the slightly taller building to the left is where I live. The slightly smaller building to the left of that is where the public rooms are, where the wedding took place yesterday. The whitish building in between the two is the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs.

My afternoon walk goes from my building along the top of the cliffs to the right all the way down to the end where the lighthouse is, and then back down the path on the other side of the headland.

So now you know.

jet blast st martin de brehal Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022So then we had “Jet Blast” up on stage.

A three-piece band that performed a pretty staple diet of rock and funk music, I’ve seen much better than these. But I’ve also seen much worse too and for a small seaside resort on a Sunday morning I don’t suppose that they were too bad.

What let them down very much was their choice of songs. Musically there wasn’t much wrong with them but with the kind of voices that they had, they shouldn’t be trying to sing songs like “Live And Let Die”.

jet blast st martin de brehal Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As for their version of “The Immigrant Song”, I much preferred the version by THE VIKING KITTENS.

And who could possibly sing the wrong words to “Born To Be Wild”? Even with me the way I am these days – I can sing the lyrics perfectly to obscure rock songs of the 1960s but ask me what I went into the kitchen for five minutes ago.

It reminds me of when I went to see “The Who” in London back in the early Seventies with Roger Daltrey singing “… errr … root ti toot ti tattoo too”.

We did have a few drops of rain too after about 15 minutes but it didn’t last all that long. Nothing at all to worry about.

jet blast st martin de brehal Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Their finale was a rather low-tempo version of SOUL SACRIFICE, a long way from the original version.

What was interesting about this is that in the live version by Santana, there’s a very lengthy percussion solo. “Jet Blast” imitated that (to a certain degree) by not only the drummer but the guitarist and the bassist abandoning their guitars for some percussion instruments.

It was certainly a different way of performing it so hats off to them for initiative and innovation, even if it lacked the inspiration of the original. But then no-one can play Santana quite like Carlos Santana

jet blast st martin de brehal Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022They were on stage for about 90 minutes or so altogether and all in all I don’t suppose that it was too bad at all.

Everyone in the audience seemed to enjoy it anyway, some more than others.

Just for a change, I didn’t take too many photographs, but those that I took are ALL ON LINE

We managed to grab a table in a café afterwards and have a coffee and a chat. We made a few plans for some more trips out but all of that depends very much on how things develop with my health. I can’t plan too far ahead these days.

kite surfer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Later on Laurent drove me home.

Before I came in I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening there and, being distracted by a kite surfer, I forgot to look down onto the beach.

Back here I had work to do. I went through and edited all of the photos and created the web page to which I referred to make sure that all of my images from today are on line. And then I set about transcribing the mountains of dictaphone notes.

I was at the top of Vine Tree Avenue in Rope Lane. There were a couple of people waiting for the bus. Just then Sweep, my grey cat, came and they started to call it names so I asked what was up. They said that it was mean because it attacked them. I picked her up and stroked her and asked them if she looked as if she was a mean cat that attacks people. They must have been mean to it to make it attack. We had a little chat about cats etc. Then I decided that I’d come in and I’d bring Sweep in with me. I brought her into my flat but she didn’t seem all that happy being indoors and wanted to go back out again. I was getting the impression that she was going to start on a kind-of new life somewhere that didn’t involve me as a human in it and I felt really disappointed by that.

Later on I’d gone to get a job in an office somewhere talking about car insurance. It was specialising in Ford Cortinas. The talk that I was given told me that I was going to be learning all about Cortinas even down as far as the MkII. I said that that was very nice but I owned my first MkI Cortina in 1974 … “actually 1973” – ed … and since then I’ve owned the lot and I have at the moment a MkII, 3xMkIV and 2xMkV. We had a chat about them. Then I went round to one of my garages because I had Cortinas dotted about all over the place in different garages and workshops. In one of them I had a couple of engines up on pallets but the pallets were uneven so I was looking for slivers of wood to even up the pallets. I was hunting around for ages for these, then I suddenly realised that in my workshop I’d have them where I’d been cutting wood. My workshop was open with hordes of people milling around inside it, all my tools and everything were in there. I went in and found a few bits of wood but by dismantling some kind of template that I had in there I found all the wood that I needed. There was a girl in there whom I thought looked quite attractive, a young girl. She came over to me and asked “didn’t you used to do the car boot sales for MENCAP?”. I replied “I was there driving a friend but I didn’t actually take part in the organisation or anything. I was certainly present”. She was telling me who she was there with and having a chat. I said “hang on a minute”. I was chewing on a piece of wood. “Let me take this wood out of my mouth”. She looked astonished. “What are you chewing on?”. I replied “wait a minute” and took these pieces of wood out of my mouth. I started to chat to her again and we had a nice friendly conversation.

I had an office at the back of a railway station on top of a railway line. I was doing some research into one of their locomotive engineers there. Something came up about this nationally so I offered to let someone have a look at my research. They seemed to think that I was in much more need of help myself because of all of the mess that I was in. I said that I was in a mess but it was all a question of organisation, not of facts. I collected a great many of the papers and it was just a matter of sorting them out but they were quite welcome to come along and refer to some of them while this was all going on.

There was something in there that they were going to be giving their workers fewer holidays and less paid time off and that sparked a walk-out of people from there.

There was something going on about computer programming. I can’t really remember very much but it was to do with people getting old and cars parked in the street restricting the flow of traffic but I can’t remember any more about this.

We (whoever “we” were) were at a motorcycle rally and someone’s motorcycle had broken down. We went to have a look at it and took the back wheel out which was no problem at all but it wouldn’t detatch from the hub housing. I left it on one side and had a look around the rest of the motorbike. In the end the driver admitted that what was happening was that it was the primary-chain tensioner had given up so I asked to know a way of adjusting the timing or getting a new chain and tensioner to fit. He explained that with these new-fangled motorcycles it’s not as easy as that and in any case you can’t just set the timing by eye even if you were able to change the chain and tensioner. It has to be done by some kind of celestial line-up that means that you have to take the motorcycle to either Mexico City or Moscow in order to set the timing. This is way beyond any technical capability I ever had so I could see that I was going to have to admit defeat before I started on this particular motorbike because there was no way that I had this kind of facility.

Finally I had a go at the music that I’ll be using in the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow, pairing it off ready for writing the notes tomorrow morning.

With all of everything that had been going on today I’d forgotten to take the dough out of the freezer so there was no pizza tonight. Instead I had sausage, beans and chips and that made a very acceptable meal. I also finished watching FAREWELL MY LOVELY which is one of the most powerful films that I’ve ever seen, up there in the same class as THE MALTESE FALCON and THE BIG SLEEP.

Now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed. It’s an early start in the morning and I’ve plenty to do as usual. And then I have to summon up the courage to go to Leuven on Wednesday.

How I’m not looking forward to that.

Friday 15th July 2022 – AFTER I’D FINISHED …

fete de la bastille firework display 14th july quatorze juillet feux d'artifice port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… writing up my notes last night I thought that I’d nip out and see if the moon had broken free of the cloud cover that was hanging around.

Instead I ended up being swept along by crowds of thousands of people – and I really do mean “thousands”.

What I’d forgotten is that last thing at night on Bastille Day there’s a huge firework display at the port and it looks as if most of Normandy had come along to stand on the cliffs to watch the spectacle.

And they weren’t disappointed either.

fete de la bastille firework display 14th july quatorze juillet feux d'artifice port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022We were out there for about half an hour while they blasted off a pile of fireworks into the stratosphere.

Considering that it was a free evening’s entertainment, we certainly had our money’s worth and everyone enjoyed it. There was a tumultuous round of applause when it finished, and then I staggered back to my apartment to go to bed.

There were about 60 photos altogether and they are all on line now. You can see them HERE. Remember to click on a thumbnail to see the full-size image.

“Staggered back” is correct too. Yesterday my knee gave way again when I was scrambling over the chest of drawers to close the window in my bedroom. And it seems that I’ve done it a permanent mischief now.

hang glider rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It was another “mobile” night last night and so while you admire a few photos of Nazguls flying by overhead, I shall elucidate.

My mother told me to take my younger brothers and sisters to the hospital. We didn’t have much time and it was dark so we set out to jog there. We were up there by Goodall’s Corner in Shavington and had to go down the Newcastle Road. There were all these medical cards and records and a few other bits and pieces so I told my brother to take our two sisters and run off down there towards Newcastle slowly while I picked up a few boxes of stuff that need to be carried and I’d run after them to catch them up. In the distance I could see them but when they got to where the petrol station was they crossed over and went into the petrol station. I had to run in after them to drag them out and explain to them that if I hadn’t seen them out of the corner of my eye cross the road I’d have run right past there with the stuff and we would have been separated for ever. I was quite angry and annoyed about this, not because they had crossed the road but because we could have been separated like that. We carried on and came to a place where we had to climb through a barbed wire fence. I knew of a gap where to go but they somehow found some other gap which wasn’t where we needed to be. They all climbed through there anyway. I suddenly found myself alone at this other gap. Once I’d gone through this other gap we had to negotiate a concentration camp and that was very dangerous because if we looked too healthy or too ill we could be exterminated. Then of course we had to exit on the other side and carry on with our trip to the hospital. This required an awful lot of thought and cunning to do it correctly but there I was on my own. I couldn’t work out where they had gone once they’d gone through this other gap and they’d disappeared.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022I forget how this dream actually started but it turned out that we were in native American country and having to be extremely careful. Somehow we ended up losing our way and being attacked or threatened. We had to work our way around and out of there while avoiding a pitched battle which was not going to be easy but I can’t remember all the rest. There was much more to it than this.

I’d decided spontaneously to go to Canada. I booked myself an air ticket and took my suitcase from under the bed. I didn’t even check the case at all – I just grabbed it and set off for the airport. There was a reasonably small-sized queue – we didn’t have to wait all that long to go through the security. But once we were queueing we gradually ended up at the front then it would flash a gate number. Mine flashed. It was 34D. I had a few carrier bags etc that I stuffed in my suitcase and set out to find it. I had to go up some stairs and saw some guys standing by a turnstile type of thing so I went over to them but someone from behind shouted. I looked behind and saw that there was some kind of alcove to the side where there were some immigration or customs people. They told me that I should have gone there first but I hadn’t seen them. There was nothing to indicate that they were there so how was I supposed to know to go there? I thought that this was good. I’d started to have an argument with people already and I’d hardly even arrived, and I’m arguing with the security or immigration people or whatever they were. It won’t do me any good at all.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And while you admire a few photos of the crowds engaged in the pèche à pied There were a couple of girls getting into trouble due to a violation of the school’s dress code. What happened was that the skirts could be cut short depending on some kind of ratio relating to the girls’ waists but what they had done was having shortened them once they had turned round and shortened them again and that was against the school rules. They were then causing trouble about their dress code and were going to have to face the music.

There was also something about the dream in which i went to Canada. Someone had been round at my house helping me to pack. They had to write a label to go on my luggage giving all kinds of personal details including the value of my house. They put “£30,000 by auction”. I enquired about that and they said that I’d paid that much money for it when I’d bought it. I replied “yes but look at the improvements”. They replied that it’s still quite a damp house and it needs even more doing to it – one wall repairing. I tried to argue that even so the value must be an awful lot more than £30,000 but they still didn’t agree with what I was saying.

peche a pied baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022When the alarm went off it took me a while to get my head together but regardless, I was still up and about before the second alarm.

After the medication I spent a pleasant hour or so transcribing the dictaphone notes and then edited all of the photos that I took last night of the fireworks.

When that task was completed I prepared the web page with the photos of last night. This 3-column layout that I designed earlier this year needs some work to improve the design but it seems to work quite well and to do exactly what I want it to do.

It’s the kind of thing that makes me with that everything that I were to do would turn out like that.It took quite a while to do,

When the page was finished I had another hour on the acoustic guitar. And I quite enjoyed that session too. It seems to be all coming together at long last but I wish that I could remember what it is that I’m supposed to be playing without having to refer to the music.

Most people think that it’s an age thing but I’ve been like this practically all my life.

It reminds me of a conversation that I had with someone a while back.
“Two things happen to you when you get to my age. The first thing is that you forget almost everything.”
“What’s the second thing?”
“Actually, I can’t remember”

The rest of the day, such as there was, has been spent finishing off everything relating to the photos from June and I’ve started to update the blog entries from when I was away. “Started” yes, but I’m a long, long way from finishing.

people on the beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There was the usual pause for me to go off and see what was happening down on the beach.

Across the car park I went, noticing that the car that was blocking up the two car parking spaces had disappeared. The sea seems to have disappeared too because the tide was well out this afternoon.

And it seems that everyone had come out this afternoon too. There were crowds on the beach enjoying the sunshine down there, even if there was quite a lot of wind blowing about right now. So much so that one young boy was chasing down the path after his hat.

kite surfer rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022What also caught my eye down there too was some kind of kite or sail.

What I did was to take a photo of it so that I could enlarge and enhance it when I returned home so that I could see what it might be.

It’s not just the Nazguls that are out and about this afternoon. We have a kite-surfer down there somehwer ein the sea, regardless of the whitecaps on the waves.

At least, that’s what I reckon, even if I couldn’t quite make out which guy was flying it. At least it isn’t a Nazgul that has fallen to a watery grave thanks to a lucky shot from Legolas.

zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There was also a zodiac out there in the bay.

No trawlers today, or anything else for that matter. Just the zodiac. It was actually moving quite rapidly towards the port so I don’t think that it could have been full of fishermen. They wouldn’t be heading to port when there’s still a couple of hours before the tide comes in.

So fighting my way through all of the crowds, a couple of people who actually said “hello” to me, I wandered off down the path towards the lighthouse at the end of the headland.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Crowds on the car park too with cars parked on the lawn, so I headed off for some peace and quiet.

Down on the bench at the cabanon vauban we actually had someone sitting there today. First time for several days that we’d seen someone there.

And she had plenty to occupy her too. Apart from the zodiac that went spluttering by, we had all of the people out there at the peche à pied whom we saw earlier.

But with no trawlers and no other distractions I headed off to the port to see what was happening there.

la confiance 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Today we have had another change of occupancy at the chantier naval.

Monaco du Nord II is still in there over by the portable boat lift, but she’s now been joined by another trawler, La Confiance II.

Who she might be, I really have no idea because we haven’t seen her before here in Granville. But her registration number suggests that she’s an older boat so I’m surprised that she hasn’t featured in these pages before.

And it seems that I’m not wrong about her age either. According to the trawler database, she was launched in 1980 and is made of wood.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Across the bay, our game of “Musican Ships” is continuing.

Today it’s the turn once more of L’Omerta to be tied up at the Fish Processing Plant and settled down in the silt.

Plenty of activity on the quayside up above here. There are loads of shellfish boxes and ancillary equipment up there as if she has just unloaded.

There were crowds on the car park too and what looked suspiciously like a police car cruising around there too. That reminds me that I must change over the insurance sticker in Caliburn’s windscreen before they come cruising around us.

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

Marité has wandered off today and her berth is now empty. She’s currently at anchor off St. Vaast, just along the coast from Cherbourg.

What else that has also gone is all of the freight that was on the quayside yesterday. According to my maritime radar, Normandy Trader came into port early this morning and loaded up.

Back here I made a coffee and while it was brewing I went and had a shower, a shave and a good clean-up.

When the coffee had been drunk I changed the bedding and then set the washing machine en route. High time that I had some nice clean clothes and clean bedding. I’m letting things slide a little here.

And then I was off to Lidl. I’m running rather low on supplies, especially frozen and fresh vegetables and fruit. The place was packed and the mystery of why stocks had been running low there over the last few weeks was solved. They’ve had a huge change-round in there and everything is in a different place.

That of course is a cunning plan carried out by all large shops. Customers become so used to where all of their regular purchases might be found that they go straight to there and don’t go anywhere else. Shuffling the produce around means that customers have to hunt for their produce, with the shops hoping that they’ll find plenty of other stuff to buy that they haven’t seen before.

Tea tonight was vegan pie with potatoes (now that I have some) and vegetables with gravy. It really was nice.

Tomorrow I’m going to LeClerc for more shopping. Not that I need too much but having broken my floor mop this week, at least I need to replace that. It’s not quite the same as when Nerina went with me to buy a new broom.
“Don’t bother to wrap it” I said to the cashier. “She’ll fly it home” .

Sunday 12th June 2022 – I CAN’T EVEN HAVE …

hang gliders place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022… have a Day of Rest on my Day of Rest, can I?

Sunday is a day when I’m supposed to be having a decent lie-in to catch up with whatever I’ve missed during the week and to tell the truth I would probably still be in bed right now except that I had a rather urgent need to go for a ride on the porcelain horse round about 09:20.

And that killed my lie-in stone-dead, regrettably.

So while you admire a few photos of the various forms of aerial activity that took place around the town this afternoon, I’ll tell you about my rather depressing day today.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022After I’d had my medication this morning I came back here and made a start on work.

What I had to do was to pair off the music for the next radio programme that I’ll be preparing on Monday. Not that I’ll be doing very much tomorrow, I reckon. If the last few days is anything to go by, I’ll be lucky if I’ll be able to haul myself out of bed at any kind of reasonable time tomorrow.

And then, regrettably, I fell asleep again and that was that. I was still stark out when Ingrid telephoned me and you’ve no idea how difficult it is to hold a conversation with anyone when all you want to do is to sleep.

As a result of the foregoing I had a rather late lunch again.

red powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022After lunch I had a kilo of carrots to peel and blanch ready to freeze and then I had a listen to what had happened during the night on the dictaphone.

I’d been out somewhere and my elder sister had come with me. She was dressed in a pair of thigh-high black leather boots, black trousers and a black jacket. We went to wherever it was and came back. She started to undress in the middle of the room which I thought was a strange thing to do. She told me “you’ve seen all this before” which of course I probably had but not from my sister. It wasn’t the kind of stuff that I was particularly wanting to see. She just peeled herself out of her clothes like peeling a banana. I thought that this was a strange thing to do.

yacht speedboat la grande ancre baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And then we were talking about Jeeps and things. Someone was asked to describe a Jeep. They said that it was like a Land Rover where all the bodywork had been bent backwards and warped because they’ve just been driving through a housing estate somewhere that was being built and had hit a raised manhole. The Land Rover had stuck on it but of course the momentum had caused all the bodywork to twist and warp on it. It had made a real mess of everything.

There was also a teacher bringing a party of schoolchildren over on a catamaran. As he was bringing them in close to port he was going round reminding them not to ask anyone any stupid questions when they docked. I can’t remember how this developed.

yachts cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022and finally there was a story about how a village in Russia had been hit by Bubonic Plague. People had heard all kinds of mysteries going on about this place. They had been issuing jigsaws to people to piece together to try to work out what was the answer. Someone finally completed one and left it in the street completed and cleared off quickly. The village was closed and no-one was allowed in or out and everyone was dying, even the medical staff. The leader of the medical staff there was dead and had the place at the top of the roll of honour of those who had died

There was time for half an hour on the acoustic guitar too before I was ready for going out for my afternoon walk. I don’t want to forget what I’ve spent all this time learning. And while I was at it, I worked out a simple chord structure to CITY OF LIGHTS by RUNRIG.

Strangely enough, I seem to recall a while ago someone saying that he wasn’t going to learn any more new songs but just go with what he’d got at that point. I wonder who that was.

But since that date 26 songs have somehow been added to it, all of which I play at some point or other and of which 15 are on the playlist

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022But anyway that was the cue for me to go off for my walk around the city walls this afternoon.

First stop is, as usual, a look down onto the beach to see what was happening there today. And with it being a really nice afternoon (I ended up in shirt sleeves at some point) there were quite a few people down there today.

Even a few taking to the water too. In fact this had me trying to think of when I was last swimming in the sea and apart from when I fell in when I was up in the High Arctic in 2018, it was when I was in Greece in 2013

Hans and I were actually talking about Greece a while ago and I happened to mention “the last time I was in Athens was with your sister!” That’s the kind of remark that kills a conversation stone-dead, especially when it’s the truth.

repairing medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And while I’m here I thought that I’d have a good look at the repairs to the medieval city wall.

They have been doing some more dismantling. Quite a lot more has been demolished compared to the last time that we were here. It looks as if they are making a thorough job of it all, and quite right too.

Much as I would have liked to, I didn’t go down the steps to look at what was happening at the outside of the wall. And for obvious reasons too. Going down the steps is one thing. Coming back up is something else completely, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

lobster pot buoy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Instead I wandered off through the arch and along the path outside the walls towards the Plat Gousset.

Offshore in the bay, as well as all of the boats that we have already seen, there were a few more of these buoys with flags on top.

We’ve had this discussion on several occasions, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and I reckon that they indicate where the local fishermen have dropped their lobster pots so they know where to go to pick them up again.

And as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I wonder how they manage to train a lobster to actually go on one.

kite surfer baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022It wasn’t just lobster pots, yachts, cabin cruisers and La Grande Ancre who were out there in the bay either.

The number of hang gliders in the air will give you some kind of indication of how windy it was this afternoon, and there was a kite surfer out there making the most of it too.

We saw a couple of them in the bay on the other side of the headland a couple of days ago but we haven’t see one on this side of the headland for a while. It’s a sure sign that “Sumer is a–cumen in. Lhude sing cucu”, hey?

tidal swimming pool diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There were quite a few people wandering around on the path this afternoon so I had to fight my way through the masses down to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

And they still haven’t fitted the diving platform onto the concrete pillar down there. Summer is going to be here and gone before they get round to doing it at this rate

Plenty of people in the water here though, but then access from the promenade to the beach is much easier than scrambling down the steps in the Rue du Nord.

Despite the renovations to the tidal swimming pool, it’s still not holding water between high tides. I thought that was rather the point of it

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022You can see what I mean by the access to the beach from the promenade.

There are a couple of ramps and a set of steps that are by no means as challenging as those at the Rue du Nord. And that’s why there are crowds of people down there sitting in the sand.

They are out of the wind too thanks to the headland.

The red machine that we saw down there working with a pile of dislodged rocks is still there too. That’s going to be quite an interesting job of work. I wonder what the purpose of it all is. I suppose that I shall find out in due course.

baby seagulls with mother seagull rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Having finished my inspection of the Plat Gousset I wandered off down the Square Maurice Marland to see how the seagulls were doing.

The two chicks that I have been observing were huddled up in some shade this afternoon and I couldn’t take a good photograph so in the end I had to settle with another bunch of chicks, with a very proud mummy standing guard over them

Plenty of sea-going activity in the bay this afternoon but there wasn’t anything exciting going on in the inner harbour this afternoon that we haven’t seen before so I left them to it and wandered off towards home and my strawberry smoothie.

artists fair rue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022In the old town this afternoon it’s the Artists’ Fair.

There are plenty of artists in the old town with all kinds of galleries and today was when they were having a sale of unsold work. And frankly I could see why it was unsold because it was either far too overpriced or the quality wasn’t up to all that much.

This modern art, surrealism and impressionism with huge swirls of colours, seems to be all the rage but it’s not something that I like at all. I prefer art to be like a photograph, a faithful representation of a view, with skill and talent.

Something that actually looks like what it’s supposed to be, painted by someone who knows how to paint. But these days I’d be embarrassed to put most of what I see on my wall. I know what I want for my apartment, and I know how much I’m going to pay for it too.

Back here, I crashed out yet again for an hour or so and then I did a pile of Welsh revision, going through some of the stuff that I’d written over the last two weeks.

In between all of this, I had some bread to make. I used the last of the loaf on Friday so I made another pile of dough which I left on one side to proof for a while.

After lunch I’d taken out a lump of pizza dough from the freezer and that had been defrosting. By now that was ready so I kneaded it and rolled it out, putting it on the pizza tray so that that could proof too.

home made bread vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While the bread was baking I assembled my pizza and when the bread was baked I put it in the oven to bake as well.

The bread looks absolutely perfect and the pizza didn’t look too bad either. It tasted quite delicious too and I’ll tell you about the bread tomorrow after I’ve sampled it for lunch.

And talking about tomorrow I took out the next batch of fruit buns from the freezer ready to defrost, and put the carrots in there to freeze for the next couple of weeks.

When I finished tea I washed up a pile of stuff in the kitchen and came in here to write up my notes.

Now I’m off to bed. I have an early start in the morning to prepare a radio programme and I’m not looking forward at all to doing it. I’m really not feeling much like anything at all right now.

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.

Friday 18th March 2022 – AFTER ALL …

filming at civic rooms place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022… the excitement of yesterday, there’s been even more today.

Unfortunately not quite of the same calibre, but nevertheless it beats the monotony. Especially when they lay down a red carpet at the Communal Rooms at the back of my apartment and set up a film camera to film whatever was going to make use of it.

Whatever or whoever it was, though, I’m not able to say. I had to go out to the Post Office before it closed and so I missed it.

If we’re lucky, there will be something in the newspapers tomorrow, but I’m not all that hopeful. There wasn’t a word about what the Dassault Falcon was doing yesterday.

fire brigade rue des juifs burnt out house rue du midi Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022At that wasn’t everything either.

This afternoon it looked as if it was the local Fire Brigade’s annual outing. There they were, complete with vehicles, standing around and chatting, looking up at the ruins of the houses that were devastated in the fire.

While we’re on the subject of “devastated” … “well, one of us is” – ed … I was pretty devastated this morning.

It ended up being a much later night than I was expecting or hoping, and when the alarm went off at 07:30 I switched it off and … err .. went back to sleep. But it wasn’t as bad as yesterday. I managed to make it out of bed a good few minutes before the second alarm.

Not all that much on the dictaphone through the night either. I must have had something of a decent sleep. I was out somewhere last night on the road that runs between Newcastle and Shrewsbury. I don’t know where I’d been but I ended up down some kind of side road somewhere. I stopped and I’d had a piece of cake and a coffee, standing in the middle of this farm track drinking it and eating the cake while the farmer was driving around in his tractor somewhere. Something had gone wrong but I can’t remember what it was. I looked at the time and I thought “God! I only have 20 minutes to get to work!”. I thought that I’d never reach work on time at all from here because I’m on foot. I put down my mug and plate down in the middle of this track and walked down to the main road thinking that I’d hitch a lift. I walked back towards the road junction that would take me to Crewe which was 4 miles away. First of all a bunch of school kids went past, then an old Austin A40 Somerset followed by an old BMC lorry. I then found myself in this village As I walked through this village I thought that I’d never seen such a village. I didn’t know that there was a village like this on this road and I know it so well. By now I was in Caliburn and. There was some road work in the town centre. Everything was being dug up. There were rocks being cut up with a disc cutter. They were even dynamiting small small rocks. I was just driving over everything, machinery, the lot in Caliburn. Some guy was even putting his feet against the glass windows to stop them vibrating when the dynamite went off.. There was this really sharp U-bend by an expensive estate agent’s. I thought that things were becoming really bad. Some woman went past and said “you’re going to be terribly late for work. It’s 2 days running for me that I’ve had to call in with car problems”. I was back in Caliburn again and came across an auto-electrician. I drove into his workshop. I had to straighten a carpet. A guy came over so I asked him to go to listen to the starter while I turned the engine so he could see if there was a problem with the starter.

Later on I was out near Tarporley in a small village … “Tiverton;” – ed. I bumped into a girl whom I knew but I can’t remember who she was. She had curly ginger hair and I don’t know a girl like that in real life. She was telling me about a family whom I knew who lived by the traffic lights at the Rising Sun. She was saying that they’d all cashed in their chips, sold up and moved on. I asked if she knew where they had gone. She told me of a couple of them but there was one whom she didn’t know. She mentioned his name and I knew the name. He’d gone to Toronto. She said “yes, I remember now. He’s bought a racehorse”. I looked surprised and asked “what’s he doing with a racehorse?”. She didn’t actually know. In the end she said something like “if you’re going to take a chance on buying an unknown racehorse for £1:00 or something you’d buy it from a member of your own family rather than from a complete stranger” but she couldn’t see the purpose of this racehorse. I asked her if it was identical to any others that he owned because there’s always the old “run a slower identical horse in a few races to build up a bad reputation then switch the real one in for an important race once the other one has a bad name”. She said “no, it’s not at all like (she mentioned the name of another horse)” so I thought that perhaps it might be an identical horse or something where in this case this one might be slower. I was about to ask her the question when the alarm went off.

After the medication and transcribing the dictaphone notes, I spent most of the rest of the morning working on the photos from the High Arctic in August 2019. We’re now back on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR after our little walk around Qikiqtarjuaq.

That was where Dennis Minty and I bumped into a local Royal Canadian Mounted Police “Mountie” who gave us a lift in his pickup up to the top of a mountain on the island where we took some superb photos which you will see in due course.

After lunch I had a letter to write. It’s the reply to one that’s been hanging around here for quite a few months and someone somewhere is probably wondering if I’ve died.

“Snail mail” has all but died out for personal purposes but I still have the odd (and I use the term advisedly) technophobe friend who writes letters. Unfortunately, just like me, she has had a hand injury and so I have a great deal of difficulty reading her writing just like people have difficulty in reading mine, and it’s not easy to decipher it.

But anyway, it was eventually ready and in a mad fit of enthusiasm which has sprung up from heaven alone knows where, I actually set off to post it.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As usual, I stopped at the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to check the camera and see what was happening down below.

As you can see, the tide is right out at the moment. It’ll be a while before it’s back in today. But there doesn’t seem to be anyone taking advantage of it and going for a bit of the peche à pied.

And if there’s anything going on at the Ile de Chausey this afternoon, they aren’t doing it aboard the Joly France ferries.

There’s one moored up over there at the ferry terminal in the NAABSA (Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground) position, and the other two are moored up in the inner harbour along with Chausiaise

charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As well as the Ile de Chausey boats in the inner harbour, there’s plenty of other stuff too.

One of the boats here is Charles Marie. We’ve been keeping an eye on her over the last couple of weeks while she was being serviced in the chantier naval but now she must be ready for the sea.

There was a trawler parked in the chantier naval where she was, but I couldn’t see who she was. I’ll go for a wander out that way tomorrow and find out more about her.

And by the looks of things, La Granvillaise wasn’t there either. She must have gone back into the water but she isn’t around in the harbour so I wonder where she’s gone.

There are tons of the containers in which they stack the sacks of shellfish over there on the quayside. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many.

road works abandoned railway line Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Dodging the pompiers who were having their meeting on the pavement, I carried on down the hill to the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour.

The freight was still there but what caught my eye was the lorry and the digger over there on the track of the old abandoned railway.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day we saw them working on the far end of that track in the town centre. They seem to have made rapid progress.

Down in the town I made rapid progress to the Post Office to post my letter. And then I went off to the Credit Agricole. I’ve received a cheque in respect of my Belgian State Pension but I dont now why. Anyway it has to be paid in to my account.

Now what can I do with €60:45? Spend! Spend! Spend! I suppose.

road works abandoned railway line Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Walking back into the town centre on my way home I had a quick peek down where the old abandoned railway ran to see how they were doing.

And by the looks of things, they don’t seem to be doing a great deal. They have a compactor down there (which was more than they had on the 1800 miles of the TRANS LABRADOR HIGHWAY IN 2010 but the road surface doesn’t look much different than it did before they started.

And I’m half-expecting one of those boys to end up like an Austin Powers henchman if he isn’t careful. I suppose that the other boy there would refer to his friend as his “flatmate”.

I’ll get my coat.

So having dome my tasks for the day I set off up the hill for home, feeling rather pleased that I’d actually finished a couple of tasks.

Maybe it is these pills that are giving me energy, I dunno, but sometimes I really think that they could give you absolutely anything, tell you what the imaginary effects will be, and then you psyche yourself up to believe them.

kite surfers people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Before I went back inside I went to see what was happening down on the beach outside my building.

Today was a really glorious May day today, really warm, but with a strong wind. And so while there were no Nazguls about, there were a couple of people down there kitesurfing. And having a really good time doing it by the looks of things.

Plenty of people walking around on the beach too having a good time. I don’t know where they have all come from.

One of my neighbours was outside the building too, soaking up the rays. he and I had a good chat before I came in for a coffee.

Later on, I had another session on the guitar. I seem to have rekindled my enthusiasm, having done very little since I fell into this depression several months ago. I quite enjoyed it too, although i’m dismayed at how much of my technique I’ve lost.

Tea was a quick falafel from out of the freezer with pasta and veg because there was football on the internet. Y Bala v Penybont in the first of the Welsh Cup Semi-finals.

And for a match then ended 0-0, this was probably one of the best and most exciting that I’ve seen in a long while. Both teams have star players but they managed to checkmate each other at every turn as the game roared from end to end for the whole 90 minutes. It’s a shame that there aren’t more games like this.

So bedtime now. I’m shopping tomorrow and then I’m going to try to do some exciting stuff. What, I’m not quite sure yet.

Who knows? I might do something wild, like take more rubbish out to the bins.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday 10th May 2021 – AFTER ALL OF …

fishing boats ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall.. shenanigans that went on last week out at sea, it was very interesting to see the position of the fishing boats on my radar today.

The port itself was practically empty except for the odd fishing boat here and there and everyone else was out at sea. Half of the fleet was fishing away in the Baie de Mont St Michel and the rest were in between the Pointe du Roc and the Ile de Chausey, many of which boats we can see in this photo. It seems that the local fishermen are keeping a low profile right now until the situation cools down.

There were however one or two boats right out in between Jersey and Guernsey, but they were the larger boats from the fleets that operate out of here so I don’t imagine that they had as much difficulty obtaining their records over last weekend.

Talking of things not having much difficulty … “well, one of us is” – ed … I didn’t have much difficulty leaving my bed this morning after the first alarm. And after the medication, the first task was to deal with the carrots.

Last night I’d forgotten to mention that while things were cooking I peeled, diced and blanched a kilo of carrots and they had been draining overnight. They went into one of these ziploc plastic bags and were bunged in the freezer.

After that had been accomplished I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

I was living in Virlet and a new British couple had appeared on the scene. I’d been in the shops and tomorrow the shops were going to be closed so I got up, bought a few things that they might need which I could always use if they didn’t and went round to see them. They said that they were fine for stuff. In the end we chatted. He had a Wartburg saloon that he was going to restore. We talked about Income Tax and other kinds of things. He showed me his income tax form which he didn’t understand. Not having seen a French income tax form I wasn’t any more the wiser either but I was able to work my way down and in the end I arrived at some kind of calculation which didn’t disagree at all particularly from what the French government’s calculation had been. I was able to explain the fact that this was only an estimate based on what they had said that their provisional tax might be and how it could all changed depending on what they did earn and all the allowances and reliefs that they could change simply through reading this form.

Armed with a mug of coffee I attacked the radio programmes for the next while. The live concerts have fallen behind somewhat in the rota and I wanted to do two of them today and, to my surprise, I managed it too.

It wasn’t too difficult though really because the first one is of a group with whom I had a very long and animated correspondence about 18 years ago and they had sent me a pile of stuff back then. Some of it was hopelessly confused and I never succeeded in untangling it but I managed to rescue enough today to make up a concert.

The second was a concert from the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm in 1973 that some of my friends who played in that group sent me. The difficulty with that was that It was extremely difficult to trim it down to the right size and in the end I had to resort to what I can only call “imaginative editing”.

It wasn’t easy but in the end I managed it even if there was only space for an intro of 42 seconds. And I do have to say that it all went together really well. In fact when I listen to some of the stuff that I did when I first tried doing this back in the olden days I cringe with embarrassment. And I’ve improved a lot more over the last 18 months too.

Having finished that I attacked a Louis de Funes soundtrack to extract a few more soundbites for my radio shows. He’s the special guest on my radio shows and I make up dialogue with me asking questions and using the soundbytes to manufacture replies. It provides some levity in the programmes.

And, shame as it is to admit it, I fell asleep at this point. That was a real disappointment, although it probably isn’t much of a surprise. But whatever you might say about it, it meant a rather late lunch.

After lunch I had a listen to the radio programme that will be broadcast this weekend and then sent it off to the guy who maintains the internet schedule to fit it into its little slot.

By now it was time for my afternoon walk

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it seems that I can’t go for an afternoon walk without first going to the end of the car park to look down over the walls to see who was about on the beach.

There was no neighbour around today to squidge me so that was a task that I could perform in comfort. But even though the tide wasn’t right in as yet and there was plenty of room on the beach, there was no-one around.

That was something of a surprise because although it wasn’t as warm as it had been yesterday and there was slightly more wind, there was plenty of beautiful sunlight out there and it was a nice spring day. The kind of day when you might have expected the madding crowds to be out and about.

There were a few people on the path but not the crowds of yesterday which made a nice change so I could go for my walk in comparative comfort.

roofing college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown at the end of the path by the lighthouse I stopped for a look back at the College Malraux to see how they are doing with that roofing job that they started a couple of centuries ago.

And despite all of this time since they started, they still haven’t finished it as yet. Judging by the material that’s around here there is no heavy or major work being undertaken so I really have no idea what is taking the time.

One possible answer to that is to take a closer look at the photo. A nice sunny day, albeit a little windy, it’s not yet 16:00, and there is no-one up there working. It seems to me that they have all knocked off and gone home, and that’s no way to work at all. It’ll never be finished at this rate.

kite surfer baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little earlier I mentioned the hordes of fishing boats … “not hordes, actually” – ed … of fishing boats in the Baie de Mont St Michel and I was determined to go along to the end of the headland and look at them.

Indeed they were there and I was intending to take a photo of them but I was rather distracted by this guy here. I’m not quite sure the name of this activity that he was practising – it must be kite-surfing or something.

But whatever it might be called, he was certainly brave to do it around a fleet of fishing boats. I mean – you can see the boats but not necessarily the equipment that they trail out behind them and it wouldn’t be very much good tripping over all of that.

So forgetting to take a photo of the fishing boats, I pushed off along the path round the other side of the headland.

le styx trawler chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd today we have more excitement in the chantier navale, so I dashed down the path in order to have a closer look.

And we now have another occupant in here as of this afternoon (or, at least we will haven once she’s dropped onto her blocks) in the form of Le Styx, one of the smaller trawler-type of fishing boats.

Mind you, judging by how far out the tide is right now, they seem to have left her in the portable boat lift for quite a lengthy period of time. And with the van parked up by her, it makes me wonder if she is actually going to be put on blocks or whether they are simply giving her an inspection, rectifying a few minor matters and putting her back in the water at the next tide.

Mind you, after my prophesy with Aztec Lady that backfired so spectacularly, I’ve given up speculating on the boats in here.

fishing boat aground port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAlso over there we have another fishing boat that has been left to go aground as the tide has gone out.

There are actually a few people aboard her so I wonder what it is that they are doing. If it’s simply a case of provisioning the boat, it still beats me why they can’t do that in the inner harbour. There’s definitely something going on about that.

The diving boat is still there too, so I wonder if when we saw the men with the jetski the other day, it really was nothing to do with any diving activity and the disturbed water was just a coincidence.

But on that note I came home for my hot coffee and because I had things to do. Like pay for my Welsh course and also to book everything for my next trip to Castle Anthrax. That’s come round quicker than even I had anticipated.

After all of that I had a session on the guitars which I enjoyed and then went for tea. Burger and pasta followed by the last of the summer w … errr … jam roly poly

Now I’m off to bed for an early night. I have my Welsh lesson tomorrow and I need to be on form. I can’t remember anything at the moment and I need to find the motivation from somewhere.

Friday 19th February 2021 – I WONDER IF ANY …

long legged bird beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall … of my highly knowledgeable and well-informed readers might have a go at recognising this long-legged bird that I saw down on the beach by the Rue du Nord this afternoon.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I am a very keen birdwatcher and have spent a lifetime studying long-legged creatures of that type. But not unfortunately birds of this type.

In the past I have had plenty of lectures on birdwatching, mainly from Nerina, and perhaps I ought to have paid more attention when she was lecturing me. But you can’t teach an old dog new tricks unfortunately, and old dogs don’t come much older than me these days.

So if you have an idea of what it might be, please click on the button down on the bottom right of the screen and send me a message.

Today started off somewhat surprisingly. Not only did I beat the third alarm – and beat it by a country mile too – I actually beat the new alarm that I’ve set in between the second and third alarms. That’s certainly keenness, and I’ve no idea at all where that has come from. It’s not like me of late, is it?

After my medication I mixed up the dough for today’s batch of bread, remembering to add in the sunflower seeds while I was at it, not like last time. Plenty of minerals and vitamins in them, including selenium, of which I may have a deficiency.

When the dough was ready for proofing, I went off and had a listen to the dictaphone. I was driving a bus around last night – a coach, and Lindi Duplessis and her friend Danielle were on board and quite a few other people. For some reason we’d all become separated. I was still on the coach but one or two other people who belonged to us, we could see on the radio that one or two people were wandering around trying to find the right channel to be on to speak to us. We tried to patch them through into our channel so at least they could talk and tell us who they were, and if they were our missing passengers we could direct them back to the coach

Later on there had been a bottle of gin left behind in a taxi. A girl who had travelled in the taxi, something like a girl who stayed with me for a while in Belgium, had left something behind. I’d found something to do with her mobile ‘phone although it wasn’t hers, a memory add-on or something that she was entitled to have. So I bought that, or got it, and got in my taxi and the SatNav brought me all this strange way from Haslington down some side roads that I didn’t know existed and we ended up in the north of Stoke on Trent. It guided me all the way up to her house, a big posh house but with subsidence it was leaning over. I took my things and went round. I was standing by the gate wandering where I went now and suddenly a voice said something to me. I looked and she was down there cutting the hedge. I asked if she had found her mobile phone and she said “no”, which was hopeful so I told her about what I had, the present that I had for her. I gave it to her and we were talking about this bottle of gin. I could see her parents looking at me, wondering what was happening but I didn’t care.

There was more to it than this as well during the night but as you are probably eating your evening meal or something I’ll spare you the gory details. The new computer drives came yesterday in the Post so today’s task, once I’d gathered my wits, was to deal with that.

That involved stripping down the old laptop, taking out the old hard drive and putting in the new one. And then start the initialising, configuration and uploading process. And that took far longer than it ought to have done too.

After a while I was able to identify the reason – one of the buttons on the mouse pad wasn’t working – the left one in fact. In the end I managed to configure an external mouse (despite there being no data on the drive) and then the procedure went so much easier.

That is, until it ground out again. Only half of the keyboard is working. So with the missing mouse button, it sounds like the data ribbon has become detached at one end or else a pin has broken off on the motherboard. I’ve checked the data ribbon as far as I can but this is going to end up being a dismantling job.

But at least, it’s working about 10 times quicker than it ever did when it was new and so now I’m sold on the idea of Solid State Drives. I’ve been checking to see what else I have in the way of laptops where the hard disk is easily accessible.

We had the usual pause for mid-morning hot chocolate and sourdough fruit bread, and then I gave the bread dough, which had risen tremendously, a second going over, shaped it, and put it in the mould before resuming my attack on the laptop.

home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound about midday I broke off work to put the bread in the oven and there it cooked for a good 70 minutes.

And when it came out, it was done to perfection. I had a couple of slices with my lunch and I can safely say that it’s the best loaf that I’ve ever made. I’ll do more like this one.

Another hour on the laptop and I called it a day after that. It’s up and running, working well, has an anti-virus on it and a real web browser. On the internet I’ve found a new-old-stock keyboard for the laptop at a decent price and I’m engaged in consultation with the suppliers about the perils and pitfalls of fitting it.

But there’s another job that’s actually finished after all of the time that I’ve spent doing it. Yes, the page for the visit to Oradour-sur-Glane and the Chateau de Chalus HAS FINALLY STAGGERED INTO THE DAYLIGHT.

There are bound to be a few more corrections needed but I’ll go through it all again some other time. I’m just pleased that I’ve finished and can push on with other things. It’s been a while since I’ve done a Magnum Opus like this

seagull on windowsill place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd not forgetting our afternoon walk either. I managed that today too.

Although I didn’t go very far before I had the camera out. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the windowsill on the first floor of the building where the seagulls sit – possibly because of the artificial seagull on the interior. There was another seagull there talking to the imitation one.

But there were other things to do too. We’ve seen the long-legged bird on the beach and from there I headed off along the path.

Nothing happening out at sea and nothing in the bay either. The clouds were such that there wasn’t even any sun reflecting off the sea.

le loup jullouville baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLe Loup was looking all lonely this afternoon too.

The light on its pillar on top of the rock just outside the harbour entrance is still surrounded by water right now but the tide is well on its way out. And the grey dismal background round by Jullouville didn’t make things look any better. It was a miserable, grey day outside even if it was quite warm.

But if you look on the crest of the hill in the background just to the right of Le Loup there’s an interesting vertical structure there. And over to the left there’s an interesting circular stone tower. One of these days I’ll go for a drive out that way and make further enquiries.

kite surfing plage d'hacqueville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I was on my way back I had a look over to the port to see if there was anything but instead, I happened to glance at what might possibly be a kite surfer.

It’s difficult to say where he or she actually is. Probably on the Plage d’Hacqueville behind that lump of rock – that’s my best guess.

Anyway, I came on back home to my coffee and to carry on to finish my web page. While I was at it, I tried to resurrect the old hard drive out of the laptop that I’ve been fixing, but that’s going to be a long-term piece of work. But while I was at it and I had my equipment out, I had a play with the other external drive that failed back in 2013.

With a bit of jiggery and rather a lot of pokery, I’ve now managed to make it fire up without stalling the machine, which was what was happening when I plugged it in before. It’s currently doing a repair but in 6 hours it’s managed about 15%. This is going to be another long job so I might leave the machine running overnight while it does its best to carry on.

There was the hour’s guitar practice and then just as I was going for tea, Rosemary rang. One hour and ten minutes later I started to cook. In a hurry I had pasta and veg with bulghour in a vegan cheese sauce. followed by apple crumble

So now, later than intended and with nothing like as much done as I intended, I’m off to bed. Shopping tomorrow, but I don’t need all that much. I wonder what catastrophe awaits me this weekend.

Saturday 24th October 2020 – YESTERDAY I MENTIONED …

waves crashing over sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall … that the high winds that we had been promised for Wednesday and Thursday and which we never received looked as if they might be arriving during the evening.

Well, they certainly did. And in spades too. So while you admire a few photos of the waves crashing over the sea wall even though the tide is a long way out, I’ll tell you about how my day went.

And unfortunately it didn’t start off too well at all. Another miserable day when it was 06:55 when I finally pucked up the courage to leave the bed.

waves crashing over sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, I had been out on my travels last night.

We started off, my German friend and I going off on a OUSA meeting in London. We pulled up at a car park and I started to get my stuff ready. he said “we have plenty of time yet” and there were one or two jobs that we needed to do, so we went off to do a couple of these jobs. We then got onto the station. I hadn’t brought my ticket reference form with me but luckily when Hans had booked his ticket he’d booked 2 seats so I was able to scan my ticket off his booking. We went downstairs to find our train. We ended up in Granville, in the Rue Lecampion waiting for our train there. We were waiting and waiting, and suddenly a horrible thought “God, my computer! I’d forgotten to bring my computer!”. He said “gosh! What are we going to do now?”. I replied “I’m not sure”. He said “we could borrow one off the place where we were staying”. I said “maybe” and he added “of course you could. You’ve paid to stay there. Of course they will lend you a computer”. We saw a train in the distance and we thought “this is it now anyway”. Eventually the train pulled in and we ran after it because it was shorter than we were expecting, only to find that it was the wrong train. We all went to wait underneath the bus stop. I was thinking that if I’d known that it was the wrong train I could have had time to go back to the car to get my computer and come back again. We got on board our train and the ticket collector came round. He was warning people that there was a £400 fine for not having a ticket. My friend said something about them using judo and the guy replied “I use judo. I’m a judo expert” so they started to discuss throws and moves. My friend was definitely getting the upper hand with this practice. Then they asked “what happened if someone came to knock on your door? How would you respond to that?”. I said immediately “with a tanga”. The guy immediately recognised that and Hans recognised it so they did this Tanga-type of attack and ddefence down the corridor of this train, disturbing all the public and making themselves conspicuous in front of the passers-by. This was a feverish sweat again.

waves crashing over sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallI must have gone back to sleep and stepped right back into the voyage where I left off because by now we were on the Metro heading towards the hotel and my friend booked himself in. I said “don’t forget to book me in as well. The woman said “I’ll deal with you in a moment”. Eventually she turned to me and I went to book myself in. I said “there will also be a name for Mr Huysgen” so she had a look through and found his reservation. “But he’s not eating here tonight. He has no meal reservation”. I said “no, he’s probably going to be eating at the Embassy”. I took his reservation but then thought “how are we going to know where to meet know that I don’t have my computer with me.

Later on, we were in Stoke on Trent, sitting in a car, a RHD Ford Cortina mkI but driving on the right as in Europe so my driving seat was against the kerb. We were looking through the papers. There was an election and there was a woman there called Margaret Williams or Maureen Williams. How it began was that we noticed that two pages in the local newspaper were stuck together. I separated them and found out that they’d actually printed the wrong candidates. They’d printed the candidates for the previous year 1992 instead of this year 1993 so they’d had to glue an extra page over the top to cover this up. The girl whom I was with – it could have been TOTGA even pointed to this Williams woman “I’m going to vote for her because she wants any job that’s going and we want to get her out of where she is now”. I replied “I actually know her and I’ll be disappointed if she goes because she’s a really, really keen worker”. My partner said “yes, the day that all of the taxis were deregulated she had someone infiltrate into there”. I thought “yes!”. So I said “yes, and not just taxis either. She was getting people infiltrated into travel agencies and several other occupations and she was even working on getting someone infiltrated into estate agents”. The girl I was with said “that’s going to upset a load of people isn’t it?”. Just then we decided to pull away from the kerb where we were parked but there was a queue of traffic behind up. I set off but some woman behind was really annoyed that I’d set off. She came along and overtook me and almost forced me into the kerb in order to get past. Whoever I was with made some remark about it. I replied “don’t you worry. We’ll get her around the next corner where we branch off”

It’s hardly a surprise that it took me so long to wake up with all of that going on.

There was time to have a shower and then it was off to the shops. Neither Noz nor LeClerc came up with anything of any importance, although Rosemary phoned me for a chat while I was on the LeClerc car park.

Back home I put down the shopping and then came into my little office where, shame as it is to admit it, I crashed out. Out completely and properly – so much so that I went off on a voyage.

I was somewhee in the High Arctic and I head that a supply ship that would carry passengeers would be here the next day. I thught that there might be an opportunity for me to finally get to Grize Fjord but before I booked a berth I needed to find out what the weather was like. There was a café in the town, a very primitive, spartan place so I thought that I’d ask in there. I went in but just as I went in the woman behind the counter said that she needed to pop out for a moment. I waited but she never came back so I went over to the computer against the wall to check my e-mails. After a while she still hadn’t come back but more and more people were coming into the café. I thought that if she doesn’t come back soon or starts to serve these new arrivals before me, I’d miss my opportunity of getting out there.

By the time I awoke it was way, way past my lunch break and there wasn’t time to do much else before it was walkies-time.

fishermen scrambling over rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo finally shaking myself out of my lethargy I headed off outside – head first into a gale-force wind.

But however strong the wind might be, it’s never going to be strong enough to daunt the spirits of the local fishermen. Here are a few scrambling over the rocks, loaded up with equipment.

I can’t tell unfortunately if they are coming back from or going to their positions but one thing is certain. They aren’t carrying any catch with them so if they are coming back, they haven’t had any luck, which seems to be quite usual.

rue du nord college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith hordes of epopel about, despite the weather, I walked along to the gate in the Rue du Nord where you go down to the path underneath the walls.

You can see how they are doing with the roof to the College Malraux. No-one up there today of course. The building to the front of it is mine, then the white one in front of that is the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs and then there is the building in which are the Public Rooms.

You can see the medieval … errr … bathroom built into the walls as well and between there and the garden of the Public Rooms is the viewpoint that looks out over the bay.

people walking around tidal swimming pool plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOnly one or two people down on the path, which was surprising seeing as it’s pretty much out of the wind, so I took the opportunity to have a couple of 100-yard runs while there was no-one in view.

Stopping for a minute or so down there, I noticed some activity round by the tidal swimming pool. A few people have decided to go for a walk down there on the beach and for reasons that only they know, to do a lap of the swimming pool.

The tide must be going out right now, because the swimming pool is pretty full. If you’ve seen my photos of the tide right out, you’ll have noticed that the pool is quite empty. Water doesn’t stay in it for long.

man sitting on beach people in wheelchair plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few days ago we saw some people dressed in their winter clothes sitting in camping chairs on the beach. A rather bizarre sight, I thought.

Today, we have something pretty similar. There’s a guy clearly making himself at home down on the sand so he’s much more brave than I am in this weather. And you’ll notice the people wearing facemasks on the promenade. That’s one of the “designated areas” where masks must be worn.

And wheelchairs too. There’s a Centre de Re-education – a place where sick people go to recover their life-skills like walking, talking etc – in one of the buildings here and there are always plenty of infirm people and people who have suffered accidents walking around – or being wheeled around.

Some of them make me feel quite sorry and make me realise how lucky I am. Just recently I’ve seen a couple of kids with bits missing.

kite surfer baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s an old saying that “it’s an ill-wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good” and that’s certainly the case here.

Most of us are here struggling in a howling gale that’s really difficult to walk against and down there in the bay is someone who is, would you believe, kite-surfing! Kite-surfing in this storm that we are having. I hope that he has some good insurance.

Watching that was more than I could stomach right now. I wandered off to watch the waves hurtling down over the sea walls at the port.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I had finished editing all of the outstanding photos from over the summer. That’s not quite true. They all needed the copyright and information layers added, and that was my task for right now.

That took me up to 18:00 and the football on the internet.

A few weeks ago TNS had played Y Fflint and put 10 past them. Today it was the turn of the other promoted side, Haverfordwest County, to come up to Oswestry and face the music.

And much to everyone’s surprise, despite TNS having 65% of the possession, Haverfordwest took the lead. And when TNS equalised, Haverfordwest went and scored another to go back into the lead.

Of course, it was too good to last. An expensively (for the Welsh Premier League) assembled team training full-time would eventually have too much in the tank for a bunch of part-timers from South-West Wales and late in the game TNS scored two goals to win the match. But it was a very plucky performance by the losers and they can go home with their heads held high.

Tea was at half-time, out of a tin. I was in a rush.

There’s no chance of going out for a walk tonight. It’s raining down in sheets and there’s a gale blowing. One look out of the window was enough to tell me that I’ve had it for tonight. I’ll stay in instead. After all, you can’t win a coconut every time.

In fact it reminds me of that scene in Bamber Gascoigne’s “Share My Lettuce” where the character talks at great length about his birdwatching activities and how he camouflages himself. But then he always carries a large umbrella.
The narrator asks him “but doesn’t that frighten away the birds when they see that?”
To which the character replied “of course it does. But I’m not getting wet for a load of bleeding birds!”

Monday 5th October 2020 – IT’S AN ILL-WIND …

Kite Surfing Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall…. that doesn’t blow anyone any good, so they say.

And that certainly seems to be the case even with Storm Alex. You can see the waves and the whitecaps that have been caught by the wind, and there are a couple of kite-surfers making the most of the horrendous weather, and a very interested seagull intent on watching them at it.

It must have been the same ill wind that blew me out of bed this morning, because I was up and about this morning before the third alarm. “Up”, anyway. I’m not quite sure about the “about” though.

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter the medication, I had a listen to the dictaphone. And while you admire the photos of the waves crashing down on the Plat Gousset in the aftermath of Storm Alex, I’ll tell you all about it.

Yes there was definitely something going on during the night but I picked up the dictaphone and promptly forgot it again. No idea what it was. But after a minute it all came back to me, as the skunk said when the wind changed. It was vaguely something to do with being at work. Someone whom I knew from school was there and someone else and we’d been spending a lot of time chatting. I wasn’t doing any work because I was retired officially. I was just keeping on going as long as they would let me so I was spending most of my time talking or reading books. One or two people had been to see me so we’d talked and then I’d been reading a book hidden in the corridors between the library shelves. It came to coffee time so I went to get my coffee.

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallI’d met someone there and we’d had a chat, talkng about football and the football pitch down below. I said that I’d seen the Belgian Prime Minister playing there. This brought a howl of incredulity for he was a big guy, the Belgian Prime Minister. I said that it was only for a couple of seconds and he was substituted. But there were a couple of other people there having some kind of fitness thing. There were 2 guys there streets ahead of everyone else with their fitness so I asked if they should be signed up to a club. He said “no, they aren’t interested in football although they coach some team for their children, something like that”. Then I was on my own and carried on doing a load of stuff, messing around in this canteen. I thought that I’d better get back to my desk anyway so I picked up my breakfast and gently ran through the offices. That schoolfriend was there and he looked at me with a bit of surprise so I waved at him and carried on running to get back to my desk in a hurry and I couldn’t remember what happened next.

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomewhat later there was an old couple and they had a job working for someone. because they had very long arms, or the husband had, long arms and very thin hands he was often asked to do some tasks. On one particular occasion he had to put his hand through a wheel or something to reach the other side to play about with something on the vehicle. He was doing this and suddenly the vehicle rolled back. Of course he had his arms through the spokes and that broke his arm.

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHowever at some point during the night I was trying to close the rear doors like Caliburn’s on a van. For some reason, when I pulled the handle down the pegs weren’t coming down far enough to fit into the bodywork to hold the door closed. I was with, I think, the same schoolfriend as before and no matter what I tried I couldn’t get these pegs to come out far enough. I thought that I could conceivably get in and close the door from inside and climb back out through the window because there was no glass in the aperture in the back (I was confusing myself by now with MY RED CORTINA ESTATE . Then I noticed that the doors were rotten and I thought that maybe I could get some more doors for it but for some reason I just couldn’t get this door to shut.

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe same ill-wind that was blowing us all into next week blew me into a frenzy this morning. Just for a change, I had a bad attack of motivation and I was able, to my own surprise and probably to yours as well, to sit down and in one swell foop I completed a radio programme from start to absolute finish.

It’s all totally completed, one hour’s worth of it, and been listened to and checked.

We had the usual break for lunch and afterwards, I had a little task to perform because Saturday’s Kefir mix is now good and ready.

Kefir Mix Place d'Armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallI took three juice-oranges and whizzed them into oblivion, and then strained the juice out through a conical sieve into a large 2-litre jug. Then I gently and slowly poured out the kefir mix through a mesh coffee filter into the jug with the juice, taking care that the grains of Kefir remained covered with liquid. There should be a couple of inches of liquid left in the jar.

Finally, I strained the combined liquid back through the coffee filter (which I had placed in a large funnel) into a couple of bottles and capped them.

Having done that, I added 40 grams of sugar to the liquid that remained, three slices of lemon and two halves of a fig, and then a litre and a half of water. That’s now brewing in the jar and will be good and ready by the time that I return from Leuven.

That was about 90 minutes out of my day all told but nevertheless, by as early as 15:30 it was completed and ready to be heard. That was the moment for me to go out for the afternoon walk.

Fog in English Channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was an old headline in an English Newspaper about 100 or so years ago – “Fog In The Channel – Continent Cut Off”.

At the moment, it’s not the Continent that has been cut off by the fog but the Ile de Chausey. You can’t see a thing out there today, despite the howling gale that’s blowing around today. There is in fact a fishing boat that’s out here someone – I’ve seen a photo of it leaving port this morning in the storm – but there’s no possibility of knowing where it is in this kind of weather.

As well as that, I’ve no idea where anyone else is either. Probably at home, I reckon, because there was no-one at all out there this afternoon and I don’t blame them for one moment.

Waves Breaking Over Le Loup Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWending my weary way around the headland I was met by an enormous blast of wind that almost bowled me over.

The wind was raging into the Baie de Mont St Michel and even though the tide was quite well out, the waves were being blown in with an impressive amount of force and the poor little Le Loup, the marker light that marks the rock at the entrance to the harbour, was taking the brunt of it.

The yacht school was not out there in the bay today either and that’s hardly any surprise at all. And that reminds me that I still have to go and talk to them about lessons. I should be seizing opportunities like this.

Les Epiettes Chantier Navale Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo chance of running along the top of the wall in this wicked wind so I strolled gently along to the viewpoint overlooking the Chantier Navale.

We are now back up to four boats because we now have a nouvelle arrivante in there this afternoon. I couldn’t see a name on her but she looks as if the might be Les Epiettes, the boat that belongs to the French Département de Ponts et Chaussées – the Ministry of Roads and Bridges.

She’s certainly carrying the same official Government colours and so it’s an official boat, and Les Epiettes has been the one that has been around here in the area. We saw it over at the Ile de Chausey when we were there with Spirit of Conrad in July

Chausiais La Grande Ancre Coelacanthe Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe know that there’s a fishing boat that’s gone out to sea this morning, but it seems that it’s the only one that is.

There are plenty of other boats moored in the harbour that haven’t put to sea today. From left to right we have Chausiais, the freighter that takes supplies and equipment out to the Ile de Chausey, la Grande Ancre, a small freighter that seems to undertake a variety of tasks from transporting tractors out to the mussel farm on the Ile de Chausey to going out to catch a load of shellfish herself.

On the right is Coelacanthe, the sister ship to Le Tiberiade that we have just seen in the Chantier Navale. She’s one of the biggest trawlers in the port so if she’s not out at sea then things must be nad out there.

Traffic Lights Porte St Jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that the streets of the old Medieval City within the walls are very narrow.

Just recently there has been a great deal of work done on the streets in there and it looks as if there is more going on there today. We have another set of traffic lights at the Porte St Jean so presumably they are working on the road in the one-way system somewhere in there. What I’ll have to do, if the weather allows me to go out this evening, is to go and find out where they are. I don’t recall seeing any notices about there.

By this time I was totally fed up of the wet weather so I turned for home and came in. There was a pool of water at the foot of the stairs, presumably blown underneath the door by the wind.

While I listened the radio programme that I had prepared, I went through the photos that I’d taken and edited them. And there was a distraction as I had to hunt down an image file that was lost in the depths of my computer.

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter my hour on the guitar, tea was a stuffed pepper, seeing as there was a pepper remaining, followed by the last of the strawberry tart with coconut soya dessert, following which I went out for my evening stroll.

The wind had dropped somewhat by now but still quite blustery, and there were a few squalls of rain swirling around. Nevertheless there was still the heavy fog and it was difficult to see anything out at sea. There was no-one about at all which is no surprise so I ended up having quite a comfortable run all the way along the footpath under the walls in the wind and rain.

Once I’d recovered my breath, I carried on walking and eventually ended up at the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt wasn’t difficult to gather what was going on due to the noise. You could hear it from half-way around the walls.

The tide is now about an hour and a half from high but nevertheless the waves are really intense in the storm and are crashing down with a considerable amount of force on the promenade at the Plat Gousset. Just imagine what it’s going to be like at high tide if it keeps up like this.

The weather being a little calmer tonight than it was on Saturday, so I could hang around for a little longer tonight. The photos are a little better too because of that but I’d love to be able to improve my technique. Don’t forget that I’m working on the edge of the technology that I have.

Road Works Rue Cambernon Rue Notre Dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving watched the storm for a few minutes I turned round and ran off down the full length of the Square Maurice Marland.

Having recovered my breath I walked through the alleyway and down the Rue Notre Dame towards home. My eye was open for whatever it was that the traffic lights at the Porte St Jean were controlling, and here at the corner of the Rue Cambernon and the Rue Notre Dame I discovered the issue.

It was far too dark to look into the hole to see what was happening, but I could certainly hear the noise of running water. It sounds as if there’s a burst water main down there. The fact that parking is now forbidden on the way up to the church seems to indicate that they’ll be digging up there tomorroz.

Trawler Unloading At Fish Processing Plant Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now I was used to the weather so I went for a wander around the walls.

The other night we saw a fishing boat unloading at the fish processing plant but tonight there seems to be three of them currently unloading. There’s another one in the darkness just there too, and a few more over on the other side of the harbour looking as if they are making ready to leave for the open sea.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … my hat comes off to all of those heading out to sea in weather like this. I stood there and watched them too, and then turned on my heel and ran on back to the apartment.

Now that I’ve written my notes, I’m off to bed. I’m off on the train tomorrow to my appointment with Destiny so I need to be on form. I need to do some tidying up before I go and I must also remember to feed my sourdough before I set off.

It’s all go in here, isn’t it?

Tuesday 25th August 2020 – IT’S BEEN YET ANOTHER …

… day when I just couldn’t find the concentration to get going again. In fact, it’s been something of a bad day all round.

And, once more, it started off quite well again with me being out of bed before the third alarm went off. Twice in two days is going it somewhat!

And as well as that, I’d been on my travels yet again. I was in a big old metallic green V6 Granada last night. I’d only just bought it and I’d been out for a drive around Creve in it. There was no tax and no MoT on it and I was reluctant to take it for an MoT and I’ve no idea why. I should have just taken it and had it tested and seen what it needed but for some unknown reason I didn’t want to do that so I was just driving around in it thinking “should I go to Stoke on Trent in it? Should I see someone whom I know there etc etc and get him to drive my other car back?” I thought that I’d better get it insured at least but then I couldn’t remember where my insurance broker lived and I was drifting along the streets around the West End of Crewe looking for the street where he lived but I just couldn’t remember which one it was. Anyway I went into the Post Office for something or other. It was a Saturday and the Post Office was crowded so I started to queue but I couldn’t remember what it was that I wanted so in the end I got out of the queue and up to a table. Someone came along and dumped a pile of papers and a cheque book and then wandered out of theplace for some reason. I was looking at these papers wandering what was going on when a young guy came over. I can’t remember exactly how he said it but he was going on about how he really had three cars and how he was proud. I said that I had four cars up my drive at the moment. He asked what I had and I said “a Transit and three Ford Cortina estates” (But I could think of two estates, THE MK III and THE MK V, so what was the other one?). He was all enthusiastic about those.

This is quite reminiscent of a recurring dream that I have every now and again about having various Ford Cortinas parked up in all kinds of miscellaneous places all over Crewe

There was some paperwork to do of course this morning but shame as it is to say it, I fell asleep on the chair. That early too!

This is no good at all and I’m going to have to do something serious about all of this sometime.

But anyway I eventually awoke and had a look at my notes prior to my Welsh class starting.

And that was a disaster too because I couldn’t remember a thing. I’m going to have to deal with this issue too. But I think that in all honesty I’m breaking up, I reckon, and I can’t go on much longer like this.

After lunch the first task was to deal with the carrots. There was 1 kilo of them that needed peeling, slicing, blanching and freezing. For some reason, shop-bought frozen carrots seem to be pumped full of water and are particularly ghastly so I like to freeze my own from fresh.

Then apart from that, there was some washing up to do for the things that I had brought back from the Auverne. They are all done now, at least, as far as the glass jars are concerned. There’s still the cutlery for the camping kit to do, although that’s not necessary now because I can’t go off for a further wander around this year.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallHowever, I can go out for my afternoon walk – or crawl, or whatever, even if it was later than usual.

And it goes without saying that I wasn’t the only one out there either. Despite all of the wind that we were having, there were still crowds of people taking in the sun on the beach .

There were quite a few people out in the water too and I bet that that was exciting for them. The kids with the surfboard probably enjoyed it.

sunlight reflecting off marker light ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw several lights out to sea in the evening.

There’s a bit more light out there again today and I was wondering what it might be. A long-distance shot with the big ZOOM LENS and enlarged when I returned home soon solved the mystery.

It’s one of the tall markers on the little tidal islands off the Ile de Chausey with the sunlight reflecting off the glass at the top. Nothing really exciting at all

kitesurfers english channel donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallWe mentioned just now about people out there in the water this afternoon.

Here’s a few more of them out there in the distance off the shore by Donville les Bains. These people are out there kitesurfing and I do have to say that they have picked a nice day for it.

They were out there last Friday when i went for a walk with Liz and Terry but I didn’t have an opportunity to take a photo of them.

crowds in sea waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd if that isn’t enough, there are plenty of people down there in the water too at the Plat Gousset.

The waves are quite high with the wind that’s blowing in off the sea and all of the people seem to be quite enjoying the waves as they come rolling in.

A couple of surfboards out there too and of course the lifeguard in the green flourescent top to the right, keeping an eye on things for safety’s sake.

chevrolet car with connecticut usa licence plates granville manche normandy france eric hallNow here’s a thing.

Round by the church I happened to notice this car parked up in the street. To my surprise it had number plates from Connecticut in the USa both front and rear and that made me wonder what on earth it was doing here. And, more importantly, how it had arrived here.

Mind you, it hadn’t escaped my notice that the Connecticut road licence in the window expired in 2009 so there’s clearly something not quite kosher about all of this.

Back here I had another go at the radio programme. I added the introduction to the first couple of tracks and then started on the notes but once more I made very little progress and i’m going to have to do better than this.

Tea tonight was delicious. Leek and tofu pie with potatoes and vegetables with gravy, followed by apple crumble and soya dessert. Despite everything, at least the food is good here.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallLater on I went out for my evening stagger around the headland.

There wasn’t very much going on at all and apart from one other person doing the circuit in the opposite direction, I was totally on my own. Nevertheless it was interesting round by the chantier navale because we seem to have acquired another attendee.

There were five boats in there last night, I seem to remember, but tonight we seem to have ended up with six.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThat’s not the only excitement down there either today.

Talking of ships arriving in port, we have Normandy Trader down there this evening. She must have come in on the afternoon tide.

It was mentioned that she should have come into port yesterday but I understand that she postponed her sailing for a day due to the high seas and the nature of the cargo she was transporting.

Back here now, it’s late and I’m not tired and I don’t know why. That’s not a very good sign. I can see it being a really difficult day tomorrow.

Saturday 23rd May 2020 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

… day today.

Not that I’m complaining, because it’s all my own fault and I’m well-aware of that. Going to bed at about 01:00 or thereabouts and not being able to sleep for ages, and then expecting to be up and about somewhere in the vicinity of 06:00 is pushing it a bit in my state of health.

What was even more surprising was that I actually did make it out of bed by 06:00 too. Well – not exactly, but I certainly beat the third alarm by something of a comfortable margin and that’s astonishing as there have been times when I’ve not been able to do that even after a good sleep.

Plenty of time to go on my travels too. I was driving a Mercedes 800 series minibus last night. As I pulled up to a set of traffic lights in Crewe some woman came up and started to talk to me about the condition of the bus. She pointed out the chassis, in fact the front engine subframe which had corroded through in a few places. There was all kinds of little things, no speedo on the bus so someone had strapped something onto the speedo cable. It was quite clear that she was an official person although she didn’t produce any documents . I was waiting until she was goigng to make some kind of formal report before I asked to see them. She was generally pulling this bus to bits. Then she went and unscrewed the oil cap. As she did so a jet of hot oil and caught me right on the side of the body all down my clean white shirt. Of course it was really hot and in my anger and shock I shouted “you bitch”. She took a great deal of exception to that remark. In the meantime there were two guys standing nearby and they were making notes. They started to take my side in this matter and started to argue with this girl. I awoke in the middle of this which was a shame because I would have loved to have known where it was going.

There’s also the distinct impression too that there was much more too but I’m blowed if I can remember anything and there’s nothing on the dictaphone to help me.

After breakfast, I went shopping. First stop was at LIDL where I should have gone yesterday. Nothing of any great excitement there except that those nice vegan burgers were back and I didn’t have any room in the fridge.

Next was NOZ where the new hygene regulations are being enforced (it’s the only shop that has them). No-one is allowed in without disinfecting themselves and store-only trolleys, no private bags.

Just now I said that there was no room in the freezer. However when I first went to live in Belgium in 1992 all that I could get for vegan meals was a kind of soya steak in breadcrumbs which were delicious, but I’ve not seen them for years.

NOZ is renowned for having all kinds of end-of-ranges short sell-by stuff from all over the EU and there in the freezer were packs of these. €0:84 for a pack of two so I thought that I’d squeeze one in the freezer somehow.

At the checkout “there’s 30% off those” said the girl. So I went back for another packet regardless.

Things are looking up in LeClerc. Flour is now back on the shelves (so “Flour To The People”, everyone) and boxes of yeast are there too. Only boxes though – they are empty – having been stripped bare by the first visitors this morning.

Give it another three weeks and we might be somewhere with that.

Back here I had a coffee and put the frozen stuff away but that was all that I was good for. I was thoroughly exhausted by this point.

After lunch I had a go at a couple of web pages but crashed out – crashed out good and proper too and nothing was done at all.

kitesurfer plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAt this point I went out and found that there was a wicked wind blowing away outside. I didn’t remember this earlier this morning.

It wasn’t very good for walking, that’s for sure, but as they say, “it’s an ill-wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good”. Someone was taking full advantage of the wind that was blowing and the heavy seas that were coming with it, and having a good old kitesurf.

He was the only one out there with his kite though. I think that any other kitesurfer must have had more sense than that.

beach volleyball plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThe Birdmen of Alcatraz were absent from the air too. Even though the groundsman’s daughter would have had no difficulty getting off the ground in this wind, Heaven alone knows where she would have ended up.

There were however a few other sportsmen and sportswomen out there, like this group setting up as if to play beach volleyball. That should be exciting with this north wind blowing right off the sea.

It reminds me of the time that a couple of us played a game of table tennis aboard The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour in a Force 8 gale. That was … errr … challenging

object on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was idling gazing out along the beach to see what was going on, my eyes fell upon this object.

At first I thought that it was a horse – after all, there are some horses that train on the beach – so I took a photograph with the aim of cropping it out and blowing it up (the photo, not the object) so that I could see more clearly.

It’s certainly not a horse, but apart from that I really don’t have a cue. What I’ll have to do is to wait until the tide is right out and go for a walk over there to see if it’s still there and if so, what it might be.

roofing place marechal foch granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that they’ve been ripping off the roof from a building in the Place Marechal Foch over the past few days.

Yesterday while I was passing I forgot to take any photos of it so today while I was down that end of the medieval walled town I leant over the ramparts for a closer view.

It looks to me if they are well-advanced with the work that they are aiming to do and if they start to put on the slates next week they should be finished in a few days.

Mind you, the trimming of and edging takes some time to do and then there’s the tidying up of the work and removing the scaffolding.

heavy duty crane port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy walk took me through the Square Maurice Marland, where the abandoned clothign was still there in the waste bin, and out to the other side where I had a look over the wall and down to the harbour.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen some real heavy engineering stuff around here just recently, and there are a couple of big diggers that have recently put in an appearance. But what I want to know is what they are going to do with these?

This is the kind of stuff that you call serious engineering and they haven’t come here to play about – of that i’m pretty certain. It’ll be interesting to see how this evolves.

Back here I stirred a few papers around but didn’t accomplish all that much. My hour on the guitar was interesting because with my new way of playing with the bass it’s much more exciting and the half-hour passes quite quickly.

For the half-hour with the 6-string, I’ve started to give myself some impromptu concerts.

There’s also an on-line music course that I’ve found for blues improvisation on the piano. That sounds interesting and while I can’t play the piano (there is a little electric one here) I can follow the theory and see what I can churn out after 8 weeks.

Tea was one of my breaded soya steaks with a baked potato and veg in vegan margarine, and it brought back many happy memories of life in my little apartment in the Avenue Reyers in Brussels. The apple crumble was equally delicious.

waves storm high winds baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallMy run tonight was misery. If anything the wind had increased and I was getting the lot in a real headwind coming down the hill towards me as I was trying to run up it.

Eventually I made it to the top, not without difficulty, and after a breather ran on down to the cliff. And you can see from the waves here what I was having to put up with.

The tide wasn’t far enough in right now to send the waves over the harbour wall but it would have been the kind of stormy sea that would have been really intense at high tide.

small fishing boat tender port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere wasn’t much happening at all this evening as far as movement went.

There was this little pilot tender boat taking someone over to Joly France at the ferry terminal, but that was about it.

There weren’t very many people about either, and the sunset from the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord was miserable too. Consequently I didn’t hang around too long and came home. I’d done all of my 6 runs, not without difficulty

Totally exhausted today, and a bad day where I’ve accomplished nothing at all. I’ll have to be doing better than this, but at least tomorrow is Sunday – no alarms so with a bit of luck I can have a really decent lie in. I have to admit that I need it.

Friday 15th May 2020 – I MISSED …

… the alarm again this morning and it was 06:45 when I finally arose.

My own fault, of course. Just when I was thinking of going to bed onto my playlist came THE KNIFE, a vastly, criminally underrated album by a relatively unknown progressive rock group from, of all places, just across the bay here in Jersey

No possibility of my switching off the computer while that is playing. I’ll quite happily give up sleep in exchange for good music, make no mistake about that.

So with a late start, everything else ended up being late too. And there was enough on the dictaphone to keep my busy for a good while typing it out too.

My mother (what the heck is she doing intruding into my night-time voyages? As if I didn’t have enough of this back in those days!) was in this and she was doing the housework, all this kind of thing and a girl whom I knew (and how come she’d suddenly appeared out of nowhere too?) who worked on the sandwich stall on Crewe market and later came to work with me. I was quite keen on her and she was talking about how she wanted to find some more money. My mother was ironing and folding up clothes, putting them away, this kind of thing so I mentioned “does anyone know anyone who wants some help around the house?”. My mother said immediately “well I do” so we talked a little about the girl.
A bit later on I’d been to the swimming baths and they were in Nantwich and freezing cold. I’d never been so cold in the water as I was then. There was a kind of regatta taking place in there but I was all for packing up and turning round and going home
Somewhat later, I’d been for a walk at a market stall type of place (not the one at Crewe). They had home-made bread in it so I went to try to get a loaf of bread. I walked in and it had just opened. The mother and the little girl who ran it were running around handing the keys back to the admin and so on. I went in and who should be sitting at a table right by the bread but a girl whom I used to know. I didn’t really want to see her so I just wandered around the shop and move out. Just then they shouted that the shop was closed so everyone else got up and moved out. She was walking some times in front of me, some times behind me, some times beside me and didn’t say a word but she got out of the building first and I followed. This was quite unsettling but I didn’t know why.

After breakfast I made a start on the rewriting of the website and attacked another page. This took some time to do too because there were a couple of old American cars, an old American bus and a railway locomotive on it and they needed identifying.

In the end I posted the photos into various discussion groups on the internet and while they ended up being the subject of a considerable amount of discussion and interest, everyone was as bewildered as I was.

For once, the collective power of the internet has let me down.

After I’d done that I reviewed the template that I had written (and resolved) for the other web site that I have and then amended a couple of pages from there to reflect the new design.

Well, it’s the old design really but all of the text menus for each individual page are being replaced by a common iframe with a common javascript menu, as well as a couple of other items of not very much importance.

Doing this is saving me about 4.5kb per page (and there are about 500 in total) and also a considerable amount of time and effort for the future when something needs to be changed throughout the site.

While I was having lunch (and the bread that I baked was delicious) Rosemary rang, so we ended up chatting until … errr … 15:00. These marathon discussions go on for ever.

And I also had an on-line chat with Josée. The area where she lives in Montréal has been pretty badly hit so I wanted to speak to her for reassurance and to keep up her morale. It’s strange that there are this little hotspots here and there around the globe like this.

That meant that there was only enough time left to deal with a few of the photos from July 2019 before I went for my walk.

kitesurfing donville les bains brehal plage  granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a windsurfer practising his art in the sea off one of the beaches between Donville les Bains and Bréhal-Plage.

Today we have no windsurfers but what we do have instead is a kitesurfer enjoying himself out there. The wind has dropped today, but not by all that much so he’s certainly taking his courage, as well as his kite, into both hands.

And once again, we have crowds of people on the beach over there in the sun.

couple on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd that’s not all either.

There was a noise down on the beach here at the Plat Gousset that caught my attention so I had a look down to see what it was. Nothing gave any indication of anything but my eyes did fall upon a couple of people making the most of the tide being somewhat out.

All I can think of is that there must have been a further relaxation of the rules about which I know next-to-nothing.

yacht pleasure cruiser ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd if you think that that was everything, that’s far from the case.

It seems that people have been taking to the waters too. Out there half-way over to the Ile de Chausey are a couple of pleasure craft. That’s a yacht of course, and what is accompanying it seems to be a cabin cruiser.

That’s the life – if you can afford it, of course. You won’t run much risk of catching anything – in a virus sense, that is – out there.

trawler english channel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallAt first glance I thought that this boat out there over towards the Brittany coast might have been Thora. She had a similar silhouette.

But back home I could crop and blow it up (the photo, not the boat) and, peering through the reflected sunlight, I could see that It was a fishing boat – one of the trawler-types.

Thinking on, though, we could do with some new blood in the harbour. We haven’t had a gravel boat in for quite a while and the port really should be trying to attract more commerce.

marker buoy english channel donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallBut plenty of fishing of course.

We keep on seeing mysterious buoys sprining up offshore every now and again with no indication of what they might be for or who has left them. And there’s another one here today just offshore over near Donville les Bains

It was pretty busy round by that little corner of the walls, and I carried on and ended up back at the apartment without having noticed anything else of interest at all.

There was the usual hour on the guitars but from 17:00 until 18:00 rather than 18:00 to 19:00.

There was a good reason for that, though.

Yesterday I used the last of the apple pie and so i wanted to make another pie, using pastry that I made myself to make sure that it wasn’t just beginner’s luck.

home made red fruit pie place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that I had bought a bag of frozen red fruit from LIDL yesterday. I’d left it out to defrost and this morning I put it in a colander to drain off.

350 grammes of flour and 175 grammes of soya margarine all well-mixed together seemed to make it too oily so I added more flour.

At about 400 grammes it seemed to have the correct consistency so I added a few tablespoons of water and mixed it in until it went into a nice elasticky mass, then, having coated it with flour, I rolled it out for the base and the top.

And here’s the finished product – totally delicious is was too.

caravanette mobile home parking rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt wasn’t ready when I finished my pie and potatoes so I went for an early run.

My run of course took me up to the top of the hill where I stop for breath. And this sight here is becoming ridiculous now. Just look at all these caravanettes parked up here.

There are more and more of them arriving every day and they don’t seem to have grasped the fact that just because detention à domicile is over, it doesn’t mean that it’s safe to go out to play.

groups of people children playing pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd this is even more crazy too.

At least in a caravanette you are isolated of a sort but just look at all of these people. The group over towards the right were having a yoga session here on the lawn and the ones on the left were having a picnic.

As well as that, there was a pile of kids playing “tick”, of all things, over by one of the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall on the extreme right.

What will it take for people to understand what’s happening?

flags flying war memorial pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAnyway, I left them to it and carried on with my walk.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw the other day that the British flag by the war memorial to the Resistance was on the point of being ripped off its pole by the force of the wind.

But it looks as if they have repaired it now. The don’t want it going fluttering off to some obscure corner of the globe. It would be something of a public relations disaster.

pointe de carolles cabanon vauban mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThe weather though was beautiful and the air, at least down the coast to the head of the bay, was perfectly clear.

There was an excellent view of Carolles-Plage, the Pointe de Carolles with the Cabanon Vauban perched on the end, and then down at the head of the bay there are the hotels and other buildings that serve Mont St Michel.

You can’t see the Mont St Michel though because the Pointe de Carolles is in the way, which is a shame. That really would be something to see from here.

marker buoys baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france eric hallSomething else that we can see in this photo is a group of more marker buoys.

It would be very surprising if they relate to nets being out because they are really far too close to the harbour entrance. That makes me wonder whether they might be something to do with the sailing school in the port de plaisance

On that note I ran all the way home and had a slice of my home-made red fruit pie with soya coconut dessert.

It’s still fairly early but I don’t care. I’m going to bed. Shopping tomorrow and I’m hoping that NOZ will be open. It will be interesting to see what they have accumulated.

And I have an apple turnover, made from the left-over pastry, to cook. So I’m planning on oven chips for tea if I remember.

With burger and baked beans too. I’m looking forward to that.

Sunday 1st December 2019 – IF ANYONE THINKS …

… that i’m going to leave the comfort and safety of my stinking pit at 07:17 on a Sunday morning when I’m having a Day of Rest then they are mistaken.

So when I noticed that time on my fitbit this morning I did what every other sensible person would do in the same situation and turned over and went back to sleep.

09:45 is plenty early enough to be out and about on a Sunday.

And talking of plenty … “well, one of us is” – ed
there was plenty of time for me to be going off on a nocturnal ramble.

During the night I was living by the sea in a town not too dissimilar to Granville with a rocky promontory, all this kind of thing. One of the things that I had was some kind of animal like a very small human. It was a fighter and it used to fight in events like tournaments and exhibitions and so on. We were at an exhibition and there were people milling around. I was asked about my fighter, whether he would fight. I said that he probably didn’t want to – he’s had a hectic week and he’d been pretty worn out but all these people insisted and in the end they prevailed. I had to go to fetch him and get him ready for a fight in the bottom left-hand corner of the windscreen (…?…). But before we could actually – but the police said that he would be welcome to fight but the more I brought him, the more he got nearer to where we were sitting the more smoother I thought that he was, as if someone had been sandpapering him or something.
And if you think that that lot was confusing, what’s the story about a girl in this little black dress who was watching something or other, I can’t remember which, was it a bird? It had two parasites on it that lived symbiotically and she was going to perform some kind of test on it to see what these parasite things were doing and why. She was an attractive girl and I was attracted to her but she was more interested in doing this scientific thing than any kind of symbiotic arrangement with her that I would have been interested in with her

But “prevailed”? “Symbiotic”? I tell you something – I can’t ‘arf come out with the flowery prose when I’m deep in the Arms of Morpheus. Gor’ Blimey! Strike a Light, guv!

There was the usual medication followed by breakfast once the medication had worked. And then I sat down to deal with the dictaphone notes. And by the time that I had knocked off, I was down to a mere 32 left to finish.

Round about 12:45 at a suitable break in the proceedings I went down into the town for my dejeunette.

charles marie covered up for winter granville manche normandy franceThe tide wasn’t all that far in so the harbour gates were closed and I could walk on the gangway over the top.

Charles-Marie was in there. She hasn’t moved for quite a while and it looks as if she’s now all protected for the winter.

So if she has no plans for the next while, I’ll move on to other projects and come back here again. There is something simmering away on the horizon right now.

yacht with black sails baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceHaving picked up my dejeunette from La Mie Caline, I came back up the hill to home. And much to my surprise there were quite a few people out around there in town today.

There were quite a few people out there on the water too.

This beautiful yacht with the big black sails, I don’t recall having seen her before and I’m sure that I would have noticed something like this while I’d been on my travels.

yacht with black sails baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceShe was performing quite a few circuits around the bay and even though I was extremely hungry and ready for lunch I took some time out to watch her.

And a close examination of the photo seems to indicate that she seems to have found a friend.

There’s another one out there right alongside her and I hadn’t noticed that before.

yacht with black sails baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceAnd so after a while I said adieu and continued on my walk.

And reflecting that I hadn’t even noticed the ascent up to here as I was walking. This new fitness regime serms to be doing the business, and in spades too.

Over the past 4 years since my illness, I haven’t felt quite as good as I do right now, and that’s really tempting fate, isn’t it?

After lunch I went back down to Caliburn and brought up the new office chair that I had bought yesterday.

The package was quite heavy and it was something of a struggle but in the end I managed to bring it up here all the way.

Assembling it might have seemed to be straightforward but that’s not accounting for any gymnastic contortions that you have to do when you are on your own.

In the and though it’s assembled but that’ wasn’t all the excitement. Getting it through the bedroom door was quite an adventure too.

But it’s in now and, believe me, it’s really comfortable. Plenty of room for me to curl up on too if ever I am overwhelmed by fatigue.

One problem that I noticed quite quickly is that the top of the seat overhangs the top of the chest of drawers. And so on swivelling round I’ve knocked more than enough stuff of the chest of drawers. I wonder how long it will be before I knock off something expensive.

Being on a roll, I unpacked another one of the boxes from the other day. Lots of little stuff in there, but also the electric piano that I had ordered. I’m going to attack that one of these days too.

kite surfers granville manche normandy franceThe afternoon walk was taken out around the city walls.

Although the sun was out and it was quite a nice bright day, the wind was howling away at something like the same force of the last couple of days.

And this has contributed to the excitement out there today.

kite surfers granville manche normandy franceKite surfing is quite a popular pastime out in this part of the world but up until today I’d managed to avoid it.

Today though there were a couple of kite surfers out there taking advantage of the fine weather and the wind.

And quite clearly enjoying themselves as they passed back and to below me.

buoy granville manche normandy franceWhile I had the camera out, I was peering around out to sea to see what else I could find.

We’ve seen every now and again some of these buoys that mysteriously appear and then disappear out in the bay round near Brehal-Plage, and sure enough we had a few of them out there today.

There didn’t seem to be anyone attending to them so I’ve no idea what they might be. But regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen fishing boats out there every now and again just recently.

object drifting in water granville manche normandy franceThat wasn’t all either.

There was something else out there just offshore and I couldn’t make out what it was. And so I took a speculative photo with the aim of blowing it up (the photo, not the object) when I returned home to see if it gave me a clue.

And having blown it up, which I can still do despite modern anti-terrorist legislation, I’m still none the wiser. Maybe it’s just a lump of driftwood, but I don’t really know for sure and I wasn’t going to go and found out.

sunshine plat gousset granville manche normandy franceNot that I would have been alone out there because with it being a nice sunny afternoon there were crowds of people out there walking on the promenade at the Plat Gousset.

There were even a few people out there on the beach too.

Seeing as there was no-one around I set off on a run down my little track but a couple of people emerging from the shadows put paid to that idea. The way things are right now, I run something like a walrus and I would rather people didn’t notice.

kite surfers granville manche normandy franceWhile you admire another pic of our kite surfer, I was listening to someone having a right old bash on the drums in the little theatre up here.

The doors were all locked though so i couldn’t go in to find out what was going on or to make a suggestion that he might need a bassist to accompany him

Instead, I came home and had a play about on the bass, followed by a session on the guitar. And it isn’t easy when you are surrounded by cardboard boxes.

I’ll open up the final one tomorrow and then take all of the empties out to Caliburn.

Tea was something of a disaster tonight. The pizza base was stuck to the greaseproof lining so it was a wrestle to untangle it. And then it didn’t fit correctly onto the baking plate and any attempt to move it led to disaster. So I had to do the best that I could.

But I did another rice pudding and with the bit of bread left from yesterday and some of the garlic butter from last weekend I made myself a garlic bread snack.

The pizza needed another 10 minutes longer to cook and the base was all to hell. But I suppose that the proof of the pizza is in the eating and it went down just as well as any other.

On my evening walk the lights of St malo were beautiful in the distance. But with no tripod and the high winds that were rattling away at everything, the photos came out far too blurred to be of any value.

And I had a good run home tonight, making the entire length of my run down on the clifftop.

Now I’m writing up my notes and I hope that it takes a while to do because Ocean by Eloy has just come on the playlist. What a magnificent album this is.

But when it’s finished, I’ll be off to bed, musing on the fact that of all of the people in Greenland, I know just 6 of them really well. And of those 6, last weekend I was with 5 of them.

I wonder when Tupaarnaq will put in an appearance.

Monday 17th April 2017 – I FELL ASLEEP …

… in the middle of Carry on Spying last night.It just goes to show you how tired I was.

And it was a deep sleep too. I remember very little until about 06:20 this morning. I must have been really tired, that’s all that I can say.

I wasn’t hungry this morning so I passed on breakfast. Instead, I had a few things that needed dealing with on the laptop. and once I’d organised that, I decided to go for a walk.

jullouville granville manche normandy franceIt’s only about 50 or so metres to the promenade from here. And although the weather wasn’t the best (whatever happened to the sunshine that greeted me yesterday?) it wasn’t all that windy, just for a change.

There’s a good view of Granville right over there in the distance to the left. About 6 kms away, so they say, and maybe they are right too. But I didn’t fancy going for a walk all that way this morning.

carolles plage jullouville manche normandy franceNow that looks more like it, though. Carolles-Plage is 2 or 3 kilometres down there (it looks a lot closer with the telephoto lens) and I enjoyed my visit there the other day when I was driving around.

As long as the weather holds out, it should be a nice walk all the way down there and there’s a café, if I remember.
An early-morning cuppa will do me good.

metal detecting jullouville manche normandy franceBut I can’t leave here without taking a photo of the people on the beach? We saw a few the other day at Agon-Countainville and we weren’t sure what they were doing.

But there’s no doubt whatever about what these people are up to. They aren’t raking around for shellfish or anything like that, they are metal-detecting. and finding one or two things too by the looks of it.

And knowing what is washed ashore on the beaches of Normandy every now and again, they might be in for something or a surprise too one of these days.

jullouville carolles plage manche normandy franceafter a kilometre or so, the promenade gives out and you have to descend onto the beach.

It’s quite hard work walking on loose sand (well, it is for me these days anyway) and so I headed down to the waterline, otherwise I might find myself in Dire Straits.

Luckily the tide was still out at the moment (but on its way in, I noticed) and so I could find some firm sand upon which to walk.

jullouville carolle plage manche normandy franceDown at the headland at the end of the beach were a few clefts in the cliffs. I was planning to creep in but there were too many watery ponds and loose rocks about and I didn’t really fancy the idea.

Instead, I went and had the most expensive coffee that I have had for a long time – all €3:00 of it. There is a downside to coming to live at the seaside, especially in the middle of the tourist season.

But I needed the break and to sit and relax. It was a long way down to here.

jullouville manche normandy francehaving refreshed myself appropriately and had a little repose, I headed back slowly up the beach, dodging the incoming tide. And it was a slow wander back too because I was feeling rather weary and had to stop a few times to catch my breath.

It gave me an opportunity to examine the sea front at Jullouville though, and I noticed several apartment buildings,
or blocks of flats, along the seafront. I shall have to go for another wander tomorrow and make suitable enquiries.

I’m sure that something will present itself.

boat in bay granville manche normandy franceThere was something white on the sea away in the distance somewhere round about St Pair sur Mer. And with a decent zoom lens you can actually enlarge, crop and paste so that you can see what it is.

It’s some kind of cabin cruiser out there, and that’s turned out to be a nice photograph, with Granville away there in the background.

What wouldn’t I give for an apartment in a block of flats over there? Preferably one that doesn’t have a hedge screening the view.

I picked up a couple of baguettes (one for tea) from a boulanger who knows how to bake bread properly, and then I headed off to the Tourist Information Office to pick up a brochure on holiday lets. I need to make further plans for the next few months.

kite surfing jullouville manche normandy franceI took my bread and salad stuff down to the promenade so that I could sit and eat my butty as the sun had now finally come out.

And here right in front of me was a guy kite-surfing. There were a few of them actually, but he was the one closest to the shore so I took a photo.

I was also engaged in conversation by a rather vocal local yokel, of which there seem to be several hanging around in the neighbourhood. It’s quite easy to spot the dikkeneks from Paris and single them out from the yokels who live around here.

Back here in my little room I made a start on doing something, but the next thing that I remembered was that it was 16:25 – I’d had a good doze off, and for a couple of hours too. That walk had taken it right out of me, as things seem to do these days.

It was a shame to waste the sunlight and so I went back out for a stroll around the town and on the beach. And then returned here for tea -the rest of my vegetables and the second baguette.

Now I shall be trying for another go at Carry on Spying but I’m sure that I’ll probably go to sleep long before I … ZZZZZZZ