We arrived late afternoon to find the keys we had been given did not work, well one of the four opened the garage but that was it. Phone calls to Scotland and Mr FF was directed to the house of someone in the village who kept a spare, unfortunately the man wasn't home till 8 that night and his wife had no idea where the key was. He did actually turn up just before 8, after which we had to unpack, turn on the services etc, make up beds and find some dinner, not a good start but we survived.
Our next episode was after a trip to Pisa, Mr FF wanted some electrical items and suggested dropping the rest of us in Lucca. I wasn't so keen as this can involve a lot of waiting, ie he is usually late but at the last minute driving past the city walls he suggested we go into town for an hour and he would meet us pointing to a tower within the town. We had to jump out of the car quickly as there was a lot of traffic, of the impatient Italian persuasion, and I just grabbed my purse. We had a pleasant walk, found the tower and settled in a nearby bar expecting Mr FF to appear at 6.30. By 7.30 I was worried, without my phone and not exactly sure of his number. I asked to use a phone in the bar but obviously the number wasn't right, by 8.30 I sent an email from a borrowed mobile as I was sure of the address, by 9 it was getting dark and the bar staff, who were really kind, said it was too late for a bus back to the village and offered to call a taxi. By 10 and 100 euro lighter we were back at our friends house, my brother and I walked in the dark to the key holders house, he was a little tetchy and said he had no more keys to give us. Back at the house Mr FF appeared at 11 having waited 3 hours at another tower then phoned the police who checked the hospitals. It seems there are several of towers in Lucca but once inside the narrow streets it's not possible to see any of them until you come upon one.
We got to our house in Lazio finally and after a few days took my brother and his wife to Naples airport for their flight home. I won't go on about Mr FF's shortcut through the centre of Naples that took 2 hours to move 6 miles, I will say I've never seen traffic like it or so much washing hanging from windows.
We had a really good day out last Friday at the local market where I bought plants for the garden, geraniums, tomatoes, herbs etc followed by a nice lunch in a pretty country bar with a beautiful garden. Then driving home we had an accident, a boy fell of his motorbike coming towards us, he slid down the road slightly but the bike kept coming and slammed into our car, which was by this time stopped. There was damage to the wheel and the steering, plus dints and scratches to the bodywork. The car wasn't driveable, the road was blocked, everyone came out of their houses and then a terrific rainstorm started. We had to call the police but fortunately the biker was insured and admitted responsibility, he wasn't hurt and his parents took control. We got the steering fixed in a couple of days by a local mechanic, a man with a shed and a mangey dog to be exact, but it was an awful experience that could have been a lot worse.
So Italy hadn't been that good to us so far. On Friday we are off to Copenhagen for a week to attend the golden wedding of our friends and stay on to spend time with them. I am looking forward to this, I just hope our run of misfortune is over otherwise I might be heading back to Ilkley sooner rather than later.