Tag Archives: miquette giraudy

Thursday 3rd August 2023 – YOU CAN TELL …

… what kind of night I had last night simply by looking at the dictaphone and counting the number of times I dictated something. We actually reached double figures, and it’s not every day that that happens.

Furthermore, I was actually up and about before the alarm went off too.

Only by a matter of a handful of seconds, it’s quite true, but nevertheless, it still counts. When I opened my eyes and saw that it was 06:59 on the fitbit I thought that I may as well make the effort.

One thing’s for sure is that I won’t be up early tomorrow. We had football tonight – Hwlffordd v B36 Torshavn in European competition.

1-0 down from the first leg, they rode their luck all through the first half and with half an hour to go actually managed to score a goal that made the score equal over the two legs.

The game went into extra time but Torshavn scored what can only be described as a “controversial penalty” to knock the Welsh side out. Manager Tony Pennock was quite right to be incensed but I notice that he kept very quiet about the penalty that I and the commentators would have awarded against his team earlier in the game to which the referee waved “play on”.

The post-match interviews were quite entertaining. Pennock came out with a few comments that reminded me of Ron Atkinson and his famous quote of “I never comment on referees – and I won’t break the habit of a lifetime for that prat!”

Centre-forward Ben Fawcett, who scored Hwlffordd’s goal, reminded me of Jim Finks, one-time coach of the New Orleans Saints gridiron team who once famously said “We’re not allowed to comment on the lousy officiating”

So with extra time being played, the game didn’t finish until long after 23:00 so it’s going to be a long night tonight.

It’ll be just like today when it took me an absolute age to actually start work – after a very late morning coffee.

And the first thing that I did was to sort out the music for the next radio programme. That took much longer than it ought to have done.

One thing that took the time was that I had to track down a certain track that I needed. In this programme, whenever it will be broadcast, we’ll be celebrating the birthday of a rather obscure musician.

Her partner plays a major rôle in our radio programmes and she actually wrote the words for one or two of his more rare songs and played keyboards on a couple. We can’t actually celebrate her birthday without playing some of her music.

While I was at it, I wrote the text for some of the music that I’ll be playing and I’ll write some more tomorrow. With a bit of luck, God’s help and a Bobby, I might have two radio programmes to prepare on Sunday.

And then there was the dictaphone. And I couldn’t believe the amount of stuff that was on it from the night. I was at the football last night. The town where I was living was a small French town roughly the size of Granville but in the interior down south. They were playing a game of football. I went along to watch the match. There was a lot happening that I’ve forgotten but something that sticks in my mind was that I was chatting to a group of people some of whom were young girls, schoolgirls or whatever. At one point the ball came over our way. I got off my chair and went to pick it up to throw it back in but then I found that I had real difficulty getting back to my feet. When I did, some girl had sat in my chair. I made some remark about it. She said that she’d sat in there first. I thought “never mind”. There was a couple of empty chairs around here and there so I took one of those, sat next to them and continued to watch the game. There was much more to it than this but I can’t remember now.

When the alarm went off I awoke with a real start. I was in such a deep sleep. I didn’t know where I was for a minute. When I looked round I thought that the cleaner was here. She was trying to tell me that she has to cut down her hours because one of her family needed help. I was trying to get my head round all this information. I looked at my watch and saw that it was 04:00 and I’d obviously dreamt the alarm somehow. That’s really surprising. It sounded so real too. It goes without saying that there was no cleaner here etc, just me waking up spontaneously for no good reason so I turned over and went back to sleep. I really couldn’t believe it.

Then a surprise for a friend of mine. We’d heard from a restaurant in St Malo that a well-known brand of gravy actually contained animal products. I went to make further enquiries and discovered that it was indeed true. I swapped a meal of greasy sausages and things like that for another kind of meal but I can’t remember what the other meal was now. I’m having a real problem remembering my dreams at the moment. I don’t know why that is.

There was another dream where I was having to see a heart specialist. He’d given me an appointment at 08:10. I went to see him and was there early. There were a couple of other doctors’ surgeries in the same place. One woman came in to sit down. Someone else came in, probably a doctor because he went into one of the side rooms. He then came out and began to talk to this woman about Patagonia and going to have an operation done there. That immediately appealed to me. I began to think about life in Patagonia, how I would go there, how I was going to travel, what I was going to do. I was all building myself up in this dream for a trip to Patagonia on the basis of absolutely no evidence whatsoever.

We were wandering around a place in rural Spain. I wanted to go to use the bathroom. I set out to find it. I went past a guy who had a box. He had 4 small logs in it. Sitting across the logs was a French bread pizza. He was trying to light the logs presumably to cook his pizza so I told him what a wonderful thing it was. He didn’t understand so I tried to say it in Spanish. He still didn’t understand me. Everyone with me asked me what I was doing so I explained. I found the bathroom and walked in. To my surprise it was just a communal room with about 6 WCs in it, no partitions or anything. You just sat there or stood there in full view of everyone else and did what you had to do. There was no blushing or anything like that from anyone except from me of course.

That was actually the first time that I’ve had a dream in Spanish.

There was a sequel to this dream as well. A young Spanish boy whose father went to discipline him. He suddenly had a huge pain in his groin that doubled him up. He was rolling around the floor in agony. While this was going on his son was there. This pain didn’t ease off until the guy decided that he’d change his mind about punishing his son. Once he’d made that decision the pain stopped

There was also something about a football match in Spain. While the father was doubled up in pain the opposition team grabbed hold of the football and tried to take a quick free kick and roared off down the field before the referee stopped them and brought them back. It was those two new players from Hwlffordd, Crossdale and the other one … “Owen” – ed … who were doing this.

There was something about cricket too, trying to explain it to a new player about how he could learn the game by watching so when his team was in he’d be out there and he could watch what was happening, then get himself out and come back in, then prepare to go back out again when his team was in, all kinds of stuff like that, this particular dream that I can’t remember the fine details now

And finally there was another dream that I’ve had before. I was with Nerina who was on a bike and I was on foot. We were chatting as she was cycling. We were in Stoke on Trent and came to a steep hill. Something had happened that she had done something that had not been the kind of thing that I would do. People had believed that we had separated. Nerina had strung them on a little. When we came to the steep hill there was a short cut for people on foot so I took it and she continued along the road. She fell in with one of these people who then began to ask her questions about what she was up to. When the short cut re-joined the road we joined up again. By now I was running up the hill and she was cycling. There was a couple of people standing on the pavement ahead of us, one of whom I recognised. A car that was coming up the hill suddenly mounted the pavement and hit these 2 people knocking them flying and drove off again. By now we’d all arrived at this particular point and we tried to ask one of these guys what exactly had happened

It’s no surprise that there was no time to do anything else other than this. There was tea of course, a leftover chili sin carné that was as delicious as ever, and then I dashed in here for the football.

Now the game is over and my notes are finished, I’m off to bed. I’m nipping into town on the bus tomorrow for a little shop and then I’ll probably be flat out asleep in the afternoon recovering from the effort.

That assumes that I wake up in time to go to the shops. Another night like last night and I won’t wake up for a week.

Friday 26th May 2023 – MY LUNCH TODAY …

… was delicious.

Down at the supermarket in town this morning they had some fresh broccoli on special offer so I bought a chunk, trimmed off the florets, blanched them and then stuck them in the freezer for a later date, now that I have room.

There was a nice, thick, chunky stalk left over so I made a soup. I fried an onion and garlic in olive oil with some cumin and coriander, diced a couple of small potatoes and diced the stalk, added it to the mixture to fry and when it was all soft, added some of the water in which I’d blanched the broccoli.

After about 20 minutes’ worth of simmering, I whizzed it with the whizzer and ate it with some crusty bread.

And I’ll do that again!

But here I am, waxing lyrical about going to the shops and buying some broccoli as if it’s the highlight of my life. One of those memory things popped up on my social network, reminding me that 11 years ago today I was out on an icebreaker as we smashed our way through the pack-ice on our way back to Natashquan after taking relief supplies out to THAT ISOLATED ISLAND off the “forgotten coast” of Québec.

The moral of this story is “whenever an opportunity comes your way, grab it with both hands and go right to the end. You’ll never know if you’ll have another chance, and you never know what the future has in store for you”.

While we’re on the subject of the High Arctic … “well, one of us is” – ed … the first track to come round on the playlist this morning, after what I had said yesterday, was THE VANILLA QUEEN.

It’s been a long time since that “fascinating lady” has been to “haunt me in my dreams” after “the bright, nocturnal Vanilla Queen” and I stood together on the bow of THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR watching the midnight sun in the Davis Strait. I was never the same again.

And while we’re on the subject of the High Arctic … “well, one of us is” – ed … the lovely Dyan Birch, whose voice is up there with Kate Bush, Julianne Regan and Annie Haslam, put in an appearance shortly afterwards.

She was well-know of course for her stint in Kokomo but before that she sang in an obscure Liverpool group called Arrival and their first album was one of the very first albums that I ever bought all those years ago.

The song that featured on the playlist was HEY THAT’S NO WAY TO SAY GOODBYE and I picked that as one of the ones to be broadcast in one of my radio programmes in due course.

It’s the song that came into my head up in the High Arctic as I watched “someone” walk from out on this desolate windswept and icebound airstrip to her aeroplane without waving or looking back and I thought to myself “hey, that’s no way to say goodbye!” but a few years later when I was saying goodbye to someone else on another airport, I suddenly realised the reason why some goodbyes have to be said in that way.

Samuel Gurney Cresswell, the artist and Arctic explorer, was once asked to explain Robert McClure’s loss of nerve after their dreadful experience in the moving pack-ice not too far from the first airport that I first mentioned. He replied that a voyage to the High Arctic “ought to make anyone a wiser and better man”.

However it didn’t work for me. One day I’ll write up the story of those three missing days.

But that’s enough maudlin nostalgia for the moment. We all know that nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.

Let’s turn our attention instead to this morning, and the fact that one more I was up and about (in principle because I was far from awake) before the alarm went off.

But a shower slowly brought me round and I put the washing on the go. Oh! The excitement! It’s almost as riveting as the day that I had when the highlight was taking out the rubbish.

There was plenty of time before I had to go anywhere so I transcribed the dictaphone notes from the night. This was another one of these work dreams again, and I’m having plenty of those. I was working in an office but I wasn’t very productive and I wasn’t doing very much at all. Mostly wasting time. The Germans invaded the country and occupied the town where our office was situated. They ordered most people to leave. Those people gathered their things together and started to set off. At that moment I came back into the building having missed everything that was going on, saw them going, and said something like “goodbye, my colleagues. I don’t know how many of us will meet again after this thing has happened. Wishing everyone the best”. I’d heard some stories that some farmers had been far too friendly with the invaders and denounced a couple of people already. So we sat and started on what was going to be a very long ordeal.

But invaders again? We had them the other night, didn’t we?

Then there was something else on these lines. Someone ended up sending something or other to the office where we were working, as a kind-of sign of discontent but I can’t remember anything about it.

I also spent much of the night in company with a young girl and I wish that I knew who she was. We were talking about the area up at the back of Barrow, places like that. I mentioned a fishing port that was formerly very busy. When the fishing died out they came and moved some of the railway lines that connect the port network to the main line but left a diesel shunter behind that was now stranded on the dock and can’t be moved. We were chatting about all kinds of interesting things. Right at the end there was some kind of problem about her having to pay her rent on her little apartment so I suggested that she comes to live in mine. This was another one of those really nice, warm comfortable dreams that I wished would go on for ever and I don’t have too many of those.

But seriously, who would want a relationship with me?

It was a slow stagger down to the doctor’s and I didn’t have long to wait to see him. But as I thought the other day, he confirmed that with this series of injections, there’s nowhere else to go. He wrote out everything that I needed, wrote out the prescriptions, and that was that.

And that got me thinking.

It’s not the first time that I’ve mentioned it but a few years ago I was standing ON THE CREST OF SOUTH PASS, the gap that the “trails west” emigrants used when crossing the Continental Divide where to the east the waters drain into the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, and to the west they drain into the Pacific.

It’s the most peaceful place on earth and I want to go back. I’m getting itchy feet again.

At the Carrefour round the corner I bought the broccoli, some mushrooms, some potatoes and a couple more of the small peppers. Now I know that I can freeze them, i might as well put a stock in the freezer now that there’s room.

Have you any idea how much a month’s supply of Aranesp costs? You really don’t want to know. And because it’s not on the list of GP-prescribed medication I have to pay for it up front and claim it back from my health insurance. That will hurt for a while.

So loaded up with a ton of medication (I’m singlehandedly keeping the French pharmaceutical industry afloat and they won’t ‘arf miss me when nature takes its toll) and having to go back tomorrow for some more, I crawled back up the hill onto my rock where I made my soup, had lunch and then … errr … relaxed. This stagger back takes its toll of me.

This afternoon I finished off choosing the music for the next batch of radio programmes but I’ve run aground at the moment. There’s a French musician called Miquette Giraudy who collaborated with Steve Hillside-Village and she wrote and played on several tracks. But you try to find them. None of my usual sources came up with the goods. The best example of her work that I can find so far is the album on which she collaborated with Hillage after he left “Gong”.

Both Alison and Liz were on line later so I ended up chatting to both of them. Alison was telling me more detail relating to our chat yesterday and Liz was showing me photos of her little week away in the Marches.

Tea was chips (now that I have some potatoes) done in the air fryer, with salad and some of the veggie balls. So you might say that part of my meal was a load of balls this evening. But then again, you might not.

Shopping tomorrow, not that I need very much at all but I have to go through the motions. I’ll go to LeClerc of course to see what they have to say for themselves, and I’lll also go for a prowl around at Noz. There’s usually a few surprises there and it’s nice to buy something different. It helps to shake up the diet.

And then after lunch a walk into town to pick up the Aranesp, which means that in the afternoon I’ll be crashing out. Terrible, isn’t it?