Friday, 14 August 2009
Famous Last Words
It was indeed too good to be true. Having just hit the publish button on my "Animoto:Living the Dream" post the other day, I thought, "Oh dear! Have I tempted fate by posting something which seems so idylic?" Well, my dear readers, fate was definitely tempted by my words and slideshow and so it came to pass, that yesterday, K and I were towed home 20 kilometres by a huge emergency recovery truck courtesy of the Automobile Club of Italia - ACI.
As Happy as Larry?
The day started off ominously calm. Blue sky, beautiful sunshine, plants watered, veggies gathered, furkids well fed, compost checked. All systems go! Time to do a weekly shop at the local supermarket 20 kilometres away in Penne. We got into what is affectionately referred to as "The Tank" and off we set as happy as the proverbial Larry . (Thank you Michael Quinion for the meaning of this expression). Shopping duly acquired, loaded up and ready to go home, looking forward to a BBQ on the balcony......It was at this very timely point that FATE decided to pay me back for being rather cheeky the previous day.
Keep Calm and Carry On
The alarm on the car was going absolutely haywire. The annoying wailing sound was high and intermittent. By now crowds of shoppers were looking in our direction and K and I were beginning to get a little bit hot under the collar. I stress "a little bit". In such situations in Italy you would hear the common refrain "Mamma mia!!" meaning "Oh my goodness!" Instead K, in true British fashion, kept calm and carried on trying to work out why the control panel was saying the following: Gearbox: disabled, ABS: disabled, and a host of other ominous failings and dire warnings. With great understatement intended, the signs were not good.... To make matters worse, I had left my mobile at home and the battery on K's mobile was as flat as a pancake and so was as useful as a chocolate fireguard!! It was turning out to be a bad day in my so-called dream world....
Gabriele the Saviour
K remembered he had an ACI membership card for his motorbike and vaguely recollected that possibly our car could be covered by it. In desperation, we asked an employee of the supermarket for help and the polite and very helpful young man kindly phoned up the ACI centre with our details. Bingo! We were indeed covered and so we were informed that an ACI recovery lorry would come and pick us and our vehicle up in precisely half an hour at 16.18pm on the dot. I quipped to K. "We'll be here for hours, I bet!!" I was proved wrong. The huge truck turned up at exactly 16.18 on the dot and the very efficient and smiley representative Gabriele was the saviour of the day. He hoisted the tank up onto the truck and we jumped into the front seat, high up in the air and off we went! After gently driving along the stunning Abruzzo countryside for half an hour, we were duly delivered half way up the dirt track that is our road to home. It was physically impossible for the truck to go any further up our rather torturous and winding"road" without it in turn needing emergency recovery! Whilst there, the car miraculously started up. Maybe the small picture above of San Gabriele that I keep in my bag was indeed looking over us and helped us?
The Moral of the Story?
The theme of "Living the Dream" and its unexpected consequence yesterday, has inspired me today to take the opportunity to use a few idioms and similes in an appropriate context. There is always a story behind every event....