Bastards. Utter bastards.

 We are back in Citta della Pieve. After an overnighter in Folkestone, so that we could catch the first Chunnel, the great British art of complicating something simple kicked in. Possibly through overbooking we could not get on the first train as ‘Z’ passengers so were told we would get priority with the ‘A’ loaders but because they mixed all the ‘Z’s and ‘A’s up, we finally loaded with the ‘B’s! Only an hour and half later.Anyway, the journey on to Chambery went without a hitch and the Hotel Maison Rouge was interesting; shame there was no time to try out the Zen spa facilities, even the restaurant was closed. We drove into Chambery old town (just across the motorway from our hotel) and searched out a restaurant. Everywhere was really busy but, as a holiday destination, I was left wondering what people stay there for. Dinner for me was a duck salad: lettuce and tomato with peaches and apricots, served with a duck brochette, slices of smoked duck and tiny foie gras ravioli. Dessert was a great twist on sweet and savoury: fresh goats cheese and a scoop of olive oil and rosemary ice cream. Jamie had the local Savoyard sausage on creamy polenta made cheesy with the addition of the local Beaufort, and served with a tiny jug of red wine and onion jus. His dessert was a single scoop of vervaine ice cream.

In the morning an early start got us through the Frejus tunnel and into Italy by 10:30 and then the nightmare began. We parked near the picnic area to give Daisy a break in sight of the car and another family parked nearby. After a few minutes I reached the car to find our computers gone and my hand bagnwith phones, camera, purse, etc. It had to have been the scumbag family next to us as there was no-one else around AT ALL. We jumped into the car and sped down the motorway after them but they had vanished. Initial panic that everything including passports was gone was relieved when we realised Jamie had taken our documents out for the border, just in case, and he still had his phone and my iPad for navigation So back we came to the Polizia Stradale in their amazing building Shaped like a tiered black granite semicircle; it looked like something from the Dark Side. But the policemen within were charming, sympathetic and despite forgetting to return my passport (will have to pick it up on our return) they were friendly Just like Inspettore Montalbano, I remarked, and they agreed – but without the amazing seafood lunches.

Off we set again in much subdued mood as we began to realise the implications and work involved in cancelling accounts, bank and credit cards, changing passwords etc etc etc etc. We arrived home in Citta della Pieve around 9pm and after quick showers went to Coppetta’s to drown our sorrows with a bottle of Franciacorta Rose accompanied, of course, by their fabulous grilled meat and salad. No point crying over spilled milk and it could have been so much worse, so with the hope that the thieves rot in a fiery hell until crispy we went home to our lovely little house ready to fight another day. 

So, no pictures today for obvious reasons. 

P.S. Bought a new burn phone for Italian contacts. This one has a great function called a simulated (fake) call, designed to get you out of “certain situations”, obviously by ringing and allowing a quick escape of your choosing. Only in Italy…..

So if you have tried ringing me in the last few days, this is why you can’t get through. I’ll get my phone number back when we return to the UK. 

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