Monday 4th November 2013
Friday was a stay at home kind of day, Charlie being one of the “Living Dead” didn’t surface until well after lunchtime and only then because I called him. Mum and Charlie were leaving early in the morning so the whole day was spent resting and making sure the suitcases were packed, passport and tickets were to hand. Rich had to go and pick up some satellite systems that had arrived at the bar and he and Charlie had a sneaky beer at the same time!
One of the most important things about living up a mountain is that you have to be organised, even a simple thing like everyday shopping needs careful planning. There have been many a day when I have reached home and forgotten the “washing up liquid” or on one occasion and only on one occasion “toilet paper”. So before leaving for the airport we had a checklist and ensured everything was in order.
Most of Saturday was spent in the car, we took Mum and Charlie to the airport, Lucca was packed with the traffic at a standstill, (Saturday was even busier than yesterday at the Comic Festival) so we decided to give it as much of a miss as we could on the way back. I was very sad, I know they had to go home, but it is still very difficult for me saying “goodbye”. So for once I was very quiet in the car going back, Richard even asked “are you ok?”.
The weather continued to be unsettled and even when we went to San Romano in Garfagnana it was a little bit of everything, sunny, cloudy and raining. But it was a really good opportunity to discuss water management with him, as the water was pouring off the road and down into the garden. Water management as well as organisation is definitely needed living in the mountains. We have been so lucky (thank you God) in the recent storms but we have over the last three years worked really hard on our water management and we continue to do so, as it is a never ending job.
The rest of the week passed with such speed but the highlights where Wednesday night when we joined Paolo and his friends for a private dinner at Paolo Gas. It was Kenny’s last Wednesday meet before he returned to the UK and it was rather late when we left (2am Thursday morning!) but what a laugh! I even agreed to go to the Milan Motorbike Show where Paolo was to be presented a medal, if they could sort out the transportation. I really didn’t feel that Vicky (the Vectra) would make it all that way.
Thursday was a wash out I was so ill!! I think it was the litre of cheap fizzy white wine I drank, or it might have been the amaretto chasers!! I had been keeping an ear infection at bay but OMG did it flare up. I always thought that toothache was the worse pain in the world but no, if you have ever had an inner ear infection then you would know what I mean. I could not move, I was taking OKI as if it was going out of fashion which of course meant I slept most of the day. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Friday 8th November 2013
Cannot believe it has been a whole week without Charlie and even more I cannot believe that it is five o’clock in the morning and we are planning to meet Paolo and the others outside Paolo Gas Bar. I was still trying to fight off this ear infection and told Richard “to shoot me” if I volunteered us again for anything that entailed getting up at this unearthly hour. I struggled to get out of the door, all I wanted to do was to curl up on the sofa and watch TV (oh no, I am getting like my mother, although this was different the ear infection was no better and I could barely summon up enough energy to do anything).
But thankfully for most of the three and a half hour journey I was asleep. Although we did stop at a little cafe on the way to Lucca (sorry but I didn’t make a note of its name) which did the best egg panini’s I think I have ever tasted. It was a long drive and at one stage I even found myself asking “are we there yet”
In our car we had Kenny driving, Brian co driver, Richard and me in the back. By the time we arrived at the stadium in Milan we all had numb bums but at this stage our enthusiasm was still high. Of course we parked at the furthest car park we could from where we need to be, but we all had great fun on the walking pavements.
We found out where the awards ceremony was going to be and then hit the show. I was extremely fortunate as it was Ladies Day and I had free entry, but one of my big gripes about shows like this is the queues. Oh how I hate queues. I never in understand how in this civilized world that we live in why on earth we need to queue for 20 minutes (sometimes longer). There weren’t that many ladies around so thankfully Richard and I got our tickets pretty quickly but then we still had to wait around for the others to get theirs.
The show ground was huge. There were nine of us in total, heading the group was Paolo so we all entered the first hall following our leader. But at these kind of shows everyone has a different interest, for instance Kenny was interested in the scantily clad young ladies (but to his disappointment there weren’t that many and he did complain once or twice as this was the only reason he agreed to come in the first place). ……. Birthday boy did manage to find one and had his photograph taken with her, the only problem was that she was about a foot taller than him.
We seemed to spend the time aimlessly wandering from stall to stall but this hall was full of Chinese manufactures of parts and it wasn’t until after lunch, a fiasco with re-entry into the hall after lunch that we went to hall 18 which was full of the big boys. My favourite being Ducati.
I was really struggling with my ear infection, it was making me thoroughly miserable and thus I didn’t get the best from the experience. I’d also dressed for impression and didn’t wear comfortable shoes so after walking for miles they now had a life of their own, throbbing rhythmically.
It was a great day out, we couldn’t possibly have done all the halls and covered all of the stalls but we certainly did a good job, and it was soon time for us to make our way to the presentation hall. Low and behold we had to queue again. I decided to sit on the floor against the wall, but it wasn’t long before an official looking gentleman in a uniform politely asked me to get up. I was only resting my feet, I had managed to find a chemist on the complex and brought some drops for my ears, this together with another OKI worked a treat.
It was a long presentation although I thoroughly enjoyed watching the videos of the racing, the young children who raced the mini motorcycles, the young men and of course Paolo getting their well earned medals (article here)
It wasn’t long before we were back in the car, stuck in a traffic jam before the long journey home, I wouldn’t recommend Milan in and back in a day, it was really hard work and I wasn’t the one driving, thank you Kenny you are a star. Once again I slept most of the way home, only waking up when we came to a stop or Kenny had to break suddenly.
But it was good to be able to support Paolo – well done our Champion!
Article by Sensone