I have been dodging the virus for the past couple of years but it finally caught up with me a few days ago. In fact that little bastard hit me hard on my birthday and I had to pull out of the celebration I had planned.

I am in Germany visiting family and friends, si I have taken refuge at my daughter‘s for a self imposed quarantaine.

I have had to rebook flights with rebooking fees higher than the original price. Rebook car hire , cancel a fun and expected action packed weekend in Marseille. Advise BMW Aix en Provence that I am not able to pick up my repaired car as planned etc etc.

Fortunately I do not feel that bad, thanks to the 4 injections I have received. I have not lost senses of taste nor smell. I have a garden to enjoy and the company of 3 energetic dogs.

I was not expecting my 70th year to start this way

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Very close to my views and understanding of America :

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June 2022

It looks like this new month is going to be an extremely busy one.

Careful planning is required. Apart from the next couple of days, it will be non-stop trips in the train (my car is still stuck in Aix en Provence), guest houses, planes, hotels and family reunions in Germany and Marseilles.

Not to forget the annual trip to the Le Mans 24h race which will be fairly low key this year.

In the meantime

I intend to take it easy for the next couple of days. The summer arrived early in our part of the world, I might as well enjoy it.

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For the past few days I have been plagued by spam emails. Most of them originate from Germanyand most of them are about Bitcoin and such digital currencies. Obviously my email provider, in Germany, has been hacked at some point.

My standard spam filter does not allow me to designate these emails as spam so they keep coming back. In fact the same 4 or 5 emails are sent again and again every few minutes clogging my inbox in no time.

I spent a few hours today initiating and testing “filter rules” which would appear to do the job and identify there emails as spam and dispose of them in an appropriate folder.

Below is a sample of the emails received

I hope i have been able to sort that particular issue. The next hours will tell.

Most annoying


24 hours later

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Bella Italia – Day 10 (final)


The only solution possible and offered by BMW was to come home by taxi. They would take over the costs quoted at €850. So that is what we did. I never spent so much time at the back of a cab but it was fine and we are home.

The next question of course is how long will they need to repair the car ? I am not too worried actually.

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Bella Italia – Day 9


Car break-down near Aix en Provence

Now stuck in a hotel waiting for the assistance people (BMW, Aviva insurance, ADAC) to find a solution to get us home.

Being bank holiday weekend, there is not a single car hire available, no seats available in trains etc etc

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Bella Italia – Day 8


Drove back to Barga in the morning. Not a very pleasant drive actually. Italian roads are not the smoothest and motorway lanes are fairly narrow.

Arrived in time for lunchtime apéritif which we took outside despite the thick cloud cover and the odd rain drops

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Bella Italia – Day 7



We started the day, after a small breakfast, queuing to visit the Duomo cathedral. Quite a disappointment inside, it is more or less an empty shell. I did not even bother taking photos.

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Bella Italia – Day 6


Left Barga mid-morning

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Bella Italia – Day 3


Very pleasant day today. Went into town for some essential shopping and I have to admit it is a very pleasant little town.

Went back home to drop the shopping and decided to walk back through the woods. Quite a steep climb I have to admit. By the time we arrived, it was time for lunch and the drinks were more than welcome.

After lunch we walked back home via the road this time. Some spent the afternoon by the pool, some (me) had a long nap.

We had a couple of locals for a long apéritif in the evening and got a few tips on what to do in the region. Dinner was quite late.

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