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I’ll tell you what we’ll do, what we’re gonna, gonna do….!



Two of John’s customers, Jaci and Tracey aka the Tuscan Wannabe’s from the Horse with the Red Umbrella had a brainwave. Why doesn’t he take a group of customers on holiday to his village in Italy, a little place nestled in amongst the Tuscan hills, called Grondola. Naturally Maice and I were most definitely up for it…..you know us, we can never turn down a holiday and so it seems neither could seventeen other customers. So, with the wheels set in motion, a date was planned, flights were booked, accommodation secured, an itinerary was arranged and we ticked off the days. Mind you, we had a lot of ticking off to do as we’d booked this holiday way back in January!


In order to let everyone know what he had in store for us and so we could all meet up and get to know each other, John hosted a pre-holiday soirée at the cafe. Sandwiches were made, the wine was flowing and everyone was getting along nicely when John called ‘order’ and proceeded to ‘run’ through the itinerary he’d put together. Of course, this being John he didn’t quite ‘run’ through it, he dawdled through it, he waffled through it and then went off on a tangent, proceeding to give us a long-winded explanation of everything we were going to do!. Honestly, it was like sitting through a ‘death by PowerPoint’ presentation. Thankfully Kate rescued us all from his waffle by knocking over the bottle of red wine her and David had brought with them! David was up like a shot, went to fetch a pail of water and proceeded to mop up the spillage. We finally came away from our soirée believing that we had all signed up for some sort of boot camp! It was certainly going to be full-on with not a moment to spare. To make matters worse John had slipped in all these early morning starts, such as a) meet at 1am to pick up the coach to the airport b) be up, showered, dressed, breakfasted and out by 7am for our day trip to Cinque Terra c) be up, showered, dressed and ready for a 4am start to the cheese factory! But hey, not to worry, we had plenty of time to get our heads around it……..!



Before we knew it the first of our early morning starts had arrived. The coach was picking us up outside the Dorset County Museum at 1am in the morning. Surprisingly everyone was on time, even us, which was quite a fete considering the problems we’d had taking our respective pets to their holiday homes. Sir Winston was off to his Aunty Jane’s in Wool but unbeknownst to Maice the road was closed so a detour had to be made via Dorchester. Meanwhile I was headed off to Purrfect Cattery with the Millymeister but when I arrived I couldn’t get a parking space so ended up driving around Chickerell and its environs trying to get back to Radipole Road! To make matters even worse I’d forgotten my phone so couldn’t even use the SatNav! Fifteen minutes later I managed to get parked, dropped her off and went to pick up Maice.


To kick off the holiday in style we ate out at Basilico, had a cheeky glass of wine then, as if we didn‘t have enough to do, we went in search of our friend Abigail who was out socialising with her work pals at ‘Cotes’. We found the group but no Abigail who, it seems had double booked herself that evening! Having enjoyed a starter in ‘Cote’ she’d hot footed it the King and Thai for mains which is where we found her. After a quick chat and a catch up we went back to my place and in true M&A style proceeded to unpack and re-pack our bags. After a quick forty-winks and another repack, at 12.45am we found ourselves walking up the road towards the county museum to meet the rest of the gang. The obligatory selfie was taken by the coach driver, we boarded the coach and off we went. The Tuscan Wannabe’s were finally ‘On Tour’.




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