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a moment + the Debbie Pass

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As the summer draws to a close, I've been reflecting on our first year of renting the barn.
When I suggested the idea, the whole family threw their hands up in horror.
“Do you really want people knocking on the door in the middle of the night asking you to unblock the loo?” Good point. I must say standing in my nightie armed with a plunger wasn't appealing.
“Mummy we won't be able to go in the pool.”  Also a good point that triggered Mommy Guilt for about a week.
“Mummy, what if they are psychotic and want to kill us?”   As I am cursed with an over-active imagination, this was also a noteworthy point.
Throwing caution to the wind, I called Abercrombie & Kent.  On a rainy, grey day, their representative, Walter, came to the barn and fell in love.
“It's great. Sign here.” I did and the rest is history.
That's not to say it's all been plain sailing...
My over-active imagination and I were up early one morning when we heard footsteps.
“Hi, sorry to bother you but we have a slight emergency,” said Debbie our new guest from New York.
“Our car has gone off the road and we need a tow truck.”
Brushing the sleep from my eyes, I pulled my sweater over my nightie and realised that this was my 'blocked loo' moment.
I drove Debbie down our 2 mile road to survey the damage. 
“How did you get back? Did our neighbour bring you?”
“Er no” she replied, “we walked back at 6 this morning. We slept the night in the car.”
I gulped as I tried to imagine sleeping in a small sports car that was hanging over the side of a ditch.
Stunned by the precariously pitched car, I soon realised that this was a job for Angelo and his tractor.   I pleaded profusely for his help. I didn't need to, as he couldn't wait to see what kind of trouble I'd got myself into.
“Let's go to Vanna's, we can wait there until Angelo arrives.”
As usual, Vanna was the consummate host. Within seconds, she was bolstering morale with hot coffee and homemade fig tart. For a second, life returned to normal.
The sound of Angelo's tractor chugging up the road shattered the peace.
When he saw what had happened, he tutted and chuckled. Within five minutes, Filippo, Vanna's son and Angelo managed to pull the car out of the ditch and back onto the road. After intense scrutiny, we all agreed that there was no damage to the car. Thank the Lord!
Racked with guilt, I went home and phoned Sandro, our road man. Within a couple of days, our dodgy road was beautifully cemented and christened the Debbie Pass.
It was the least I could do for someone who slept the night in her car and walked up our road at 6am in kitten heels. To be honest, I would have beatified her if I could!


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Anna 16/11/2011
Ah, the infamous road. My favorite memory on that road was one early morning, the sun barely has risen, and we were greeted by a family of boars. Pure Magic
Tom Wakeley 04/10/2011
Your life is never dull!
Jeane Rovillo 03/10/2011
I love it! Great story! I can't wait to come back again! I think there was a reason i tried to always get back by dark! Miss all of you!
juli b 03/10/2011
what you're doing is so enviable and admirable. my husband and i can't wait to stop in on our next trip to italy!

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