Tag Archives: runrig

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 January 2020 – I WAS RIGHT …

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall… once more yesterday.

This time it was about those shellfish containers or whatever they were in the port last night and I said that this may well indicate a visit from Normandy Trader in the very near future.

So here we are, bang on cue yet again. The aforementioned has indeed arrived in Granville and is tied up over there by the old cold store from when this port used to be a thriving deep-sea fisheries place.

Something else that I may well have been right about, although I probably didn’t express very much about it, is that i’m not now going to Leuven tomorrow. This afternoon I had a message from the SNCF saying that my train from Granville wasn’t going.

As it happens, I’d had an earlier telephone call from the hospital asking if I could postpone my visit as they would be overloaded with chemotherapy patients. Consequently I didn’t even bother to look for alternative transport. I changed the date of my appointment to two weeks hence (as for why, you’ll find out soon enough) and rebooked my accommodation. I’ll go to the station tomorrow on my way to LIDL and change my tickets.

Last night was another relatively early night (well, early for just recently anyway) but even so, it was about 07:00 when I finally crawled out of my stinking pit.

After the medication I had a bash at the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night, and hello! again to Pollux. It’s been a while since you’ve been around. Here she was all on her own. I was doing some kind of Shakespearean drama and she was appearing in it. It was the scene where she was dragged away right near the end. Wr were discussing this and it turned out that she had been on the beach that time that we were having the Rock Festival thing and she’s tried some of my orange-flavoured water. We were getting her to talk about it and then she started to talk about other things, skateboarding, roller skating and so on. All the kids these days went onto the old railway land round by where the old BR Parcels depot was in Crewe, all round there. I explained to her that that was dangerous. It’s BR Parcels and they can be quite nasty. I was thinking that she might have been playing on the old railway land at the back of the Permanent Way Club, but it was definitely there. She was agreeing with me “yes, it was a terrible thing doing all of that” and she was telling me about the time what they did and she had a boyfriend that took her down there for the very first time. Only a couple of days ago this boyfriend had taken her down there. He was showing her a few things and she said she didn’t – she was saying that she was having the frissons about it and how she wished she was somewhere else

What is interesting about this is not so much the journey itself but the fact that I was dictating it using a French word. I know that I’ve dreamt in Fench before but I don’t recall ever using that language in the dictation.

After breakfast, surviving a power cut that delayed my start for a while, I set to work on the football trip that I did on Saturday last.

It’s very slow going, but it’s rather like a snowball in that it starts ff slowly and gets bigger quite quickly. What I’ve had to do is to go through all of the interviews, chop them into little segments and then stick them together – in the sense that you ask 20 people 20 questions, you need to extract all of the answers to Question 1 and stick them together, and then Question 2 etc. You get the picture.

It’s different to the one we did about the Bain des Manchots because there we were working to a timeline and we wanted it to run at a fast pace.

That’s taken me all day, with a couple of pauses here and there. Phone calls not being the least of them.

There was the usual morning trip down to La Mie Caline for my dejeunette but once again I was side-tracked.

trawler beached port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallIn the past I’ve talked about careening as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. That’s the process of using the tide to deliberately lay a ship on its side so that you can repair the hill or the bottom.

That’s quite a well-know procedure of course, but this is something else completely although I doubt if it’s as effective.

By the looks of things they are inspecting the rudder or propellor and fixing that is not a job that I would like to undertake in a situation like that.

la grande ancre port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith the tide being out, I could walk over the path at the top of the gates, but there was no-one about on Normandy Trader to talk to.

You are probably wondering why Normandy Trader wasn’t moored at her usual place. The answer is that La Grande Ancre is in the place underneath the crane. To be fair though, it looked as if Normandy Trader was fully-loaded, and was simply waiting for the gates to open.

And I must admit to admiring the matching colour scheme of the lorry attending to La Grande Ancre.

dismantling ski slope place Générale de Gaulle granville manche normandy france eric hallAt La Mie Caline I picked up my dejeunette and then went for a look to see what was going on at the place Générale de Gaulle.

Our famous ski slope didn’t last all that long. They are busy dismantling it and that was a shame.

And the story going around the town is that two of the beavers or whatever they were on there have “gone missing”. They’ve probably gone off with the penguin that went missing from there a couple of years ago.

Lunch was an interruption of course, and so was bottling my home-made orange and ginger drink and setting another one off on the way.

normandy trader english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was the afternoon walk too, and that was interesting because the fog had now closed right in.

And I was right yet again about Normandy Trader. She was indeed ready to depart from the harbour because here she is, setting out into the English Channel.

And as I have said before … “and you’ll say again #34; – ed … my hat goes off to the sailors who spend most of their life confronting all kinds of difficulties that we landlubbers wouldn’t even consider.

trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut as one goes out, another one come in.

Here’s one of the trawler-type of fishing boats coming into port, and the presence of seagulls flying around in the vicinity suggests to me that it has a good catch on board.

With there being no-one around in the square Maurice Marland I took the opportunity to have an afternoon run.

And my health is definitely in a downward spiral right now because I knew all about this one.

Back here I had another little … errr … relax, something that is annoying me intensely these days after I went for several weeks feeling almost normal

Tea was some more falafel with veg and vegan cheese sauce followed by Christmas cake of course, and then my walk outside.

The fog has lifted slightly but I was still the only person out there. I managed a run too although I felt most unlike it. But regardless of how I feel, I have to push on forwards.

Tonight’s notes are now finished but as Runrig have now come up on the playlist I’ll be awake for another 43 minutes or so.

Perhaps I ought to do some more week.

Tuesday 1st September 2009 – AS I HAVE SAID BEFORE …

attic insulation white paint les guis virlet puy de dome france… you can always tell how engrossed in a task I am by what time I knock off.

Knocking-off time is usually 18:00 or thereabouts, so no-one was more surprised than me to notice that I was still up here painting at 19:20 and it was only the light that started to disappear that made me sit up and notice.

Mind you, the attic is now painted and it looks quite nice as you can see. Very Tudor-esque – in fact it reminds me of the time Nerina was interested in buying a Morris Minor Traveller and took me along to see it. It needed quite a bit of work, including a new paint job.
“We can paint it white and do the woodwork black, and it will look like a Tudor cottage” I suggested
“The roof has a couple of dents in it” she said.
“Don’t worry about that. No-one will notice when I’ve thatched it”

In fact, if I put a floor down tomorrow, I could quite easily move into there tomorrow night. But I’m not going to – I’m going to do it properly.

If you look at the bottom corner – in centre-pic, you’ll notice that the paint looks pretty thin. In fact, the “plaster” in that corner was just running sand and every time I put a brush of paint up against it, a pile of sand fell off. After an hour or so of messing about, I came up with the solution (in more ways than one). I mixed up a couple of litres of water with a small amount of cement so that it was just grey water, and I painted it liberally over the sand until it had well soaked in.

Then I made a thicker mixture and painted that over. And then a third, thicker one. And then when it had dried, I painted over it with the acrylic paint. That seems to have done the job.

What helps when you are working is some decent music, and I had a lucky dip into the cassette box all day, picking cassettes at random. Lucky find from a long-forgotten past was Runrig’s Cutter and the Clan. A long time since I’ve heard that.

A fine folk-rock band, Runrig, and living proof, as the rest of the non-English-speaking world will already be able to tell you, that good rock music is good rock music even though you might not be able to understand the lyrics. “Alba”, the track that opens the album, is a good thumping rocker, even if the lyrics translated from the Gaelic into English read
“We hate all English-speaking b@$t@rd$ and when we catch one alive we will pull off his testicles and shove them up his @r$e”

Keyboard player with Runrig is Pete Wishart, Scottish MP and former keyboard player with Big Country. I met him at a European Parliament session in Strasbourg a few years ago before he joined Runrig.
“I’m a Big Country member” he told me.
“That’s right” I replied. “I remember”.

It’s rained more-or-less non-stop all day and we have had 9mm of rain. It looked for a while like this magnificent summer might have finally come to an end, but I’ve just been outside and it’s clear blue (yes, blue – there’s a bright moon outside) sky. So it might pick up again and summer might carry on. But you’ve no idea how satisfying it is to be working in the attic and hear the torrential rain and be grateful for the magnificent job that we did on this roof.