Spectacular Failure #001


In an attempt to educate the taste buds of Italy, we booked a stall at the Conzano village fair. We packed 400 packs of crisps into my Mini, one large umbrella to protect us from the blazing Italian sun and five receipt books to help us to comply with the Italian bureaucracy.

My business partner and his daughter also had a full car; it contained one makeshift table and enough provisions to sustain us through the day. At five-thirty in the morning, I foolishly climbed out of bed, drank the tea that Mrs Sensible had made me while she ironed my shirt, had a bowl of soggy cornflakes and sleepwalked my way to my little mini. When I arrived at my partner’s house he was still enjoying a cup of tea and warm croissants for his breakfast.

Not only was it raining, but some fool was trying to drive down the road as we were driving up it.

Not only was it raining, but some fool was trying to drive down the road as we were driving up it.

In convoy we finally set out for Conzano. The promotional leaflet we had been given advertised clowns, angels, sunshine and dancing girls with snakes. Unfortunately when we arrived, we were greeted by white vans, rain, unhappy looking stall holders and big wet looking puddles; oh, did I mention the wind and the driving rain that was arriving horizontally?

The leaflet promised Dancing girls

The leaflet promised clowns, angels and dancing girls with snakes.

We convened a management meeting underneath a semi-waterproof gazebo to discuss how we were going to erect our sun-proof umbrella. There were many helpful suggestions, including one or two suggestions that can’t be published.

Brown Bag Crisps Management team.

Brown Bag Crisps Management team. This gazebo cost the owner 1,800 euros, but it didn’t look very high to me

At 7.30 am (I should mention that I ‘m normally still be in bed at this time) we decamped and ran through the rain to the nearest bar for a hot cappuccino and the chance to dry out.

A well deserved hot cappuccino after a mornings work

A well deserved hot cappuccino after a morning’s hard and demanding work.

When we returned to our rain battered umbrella, we had another short meeting with two other stall holders to discuss whether the weather would improve. While I was taking photos to record this farcical attempt at promoting our crisps, I saw arriving through the driving rain, or at least I am pretty positive that’s what I saw, an old man with a beard walking up the hill of Conzano carrying one hammer and several planks of wood; he was closely followed by two cats, two dogs, two ducks and two of every other kind of animal imaginable. Taking this as a sign, we decided to cut down our sun umbrella and head for home.

You can cut this picture out and colour it in on a rainy day.

You can cut this picture out and colour it in on a rainy day.

To see if we are coming to a sunny festival near you, check out or web site and our facebook page.

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45 thoughts on “Spectacular Failure #001

  1. On those television programmes about people hunting for a new life abroad, they never show these places on a bleak, wet day, do they? You could easily form the idea that the sun is always shining. :) Still, at least you had all those delicious crisps to eat.

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    • Ha ha ha, Very true, they should show the hassle of dealing with the local post office, or utility bills that were sent at the beginning of the month and arrive on the 24th and must be paid before the end of the month. Having said that I love Italy

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  2. It’s only 6am here and the thought of salt and vinegar crisps is making my mouth water. Yes, I’m an early riser and yes, I would eat them for breakfast….although not sure they really go well with cappuccino.
    Better luck with the next adventure.

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      • Neither of which I drink here in rainy, soggy Seattle….although many do.
        I’m sure they would go fine with a nice tall glass of iced tea. Perish the thought oh Englishman!
        I’m afraid the shipping would be out of my price range. I’ll have to look for them the next time I’m in Italy.

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  3. ‘I saw arriving through the driving rain, or at least I am pretty positive that’s what I saw, an old man with a beard walking up the hill of Conzano carrying one hammer and several planks of wood; he was closely followed by two cats, two dogs, two ducks and two of every other kind of animal imaginable.’

    No worries, that was just Russell Crowe promoting his new film. ;) Was that gazebo a mick-take? I keep hearing about all this short-selling, but thought that it was to do with stock markets.

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  4. Surely the whole point of English crisps is that they have to be eaten in the rain!? I’m surprised you gave up so easily, you must have been in Italy too long. No Englishman gives up because of a drop or two of rain… ;-)

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    • A drop or two of rain!!! It was raining of Biblical proportions.

      I was either stood under someones else’s gazebo or in the bar drinking cappuccino and still I was completely drenched from my Italian scarf to my British socks.

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  5. It always rains at Easter. The village next door always organises a 3-day footie bonanza and it always gets rained off for at least part of it. Sure enough, it pissed down here too on Sunday and was pretty miserable on Monday. It’s a lovely sunny day today!

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  6. Ciao PN! I have been popping in and out of the blogosphere rather sporadically of late (life gets in the way a bit) so therefore have A LOT of catching up to do with all the lovely blogs I (try my best) follow… it seems there has been lots happening in your corner of Italia! I look forward to reading all about your adventures! :)

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  7. Well I’m very impressed with your cunning business idea! I’ve been thinking of importing curry stuff here – I miss curry!!!!!! Wishing you all the best with the crisp plan and if it goes well, I’d be interested in a Le Marche franchise ;-)

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    • Hi Sue, I miss curry as well. I thought of opening an English shop but there are not enough English near me. We seem to be scattered all over Italy, but very thinly.

      A Le Marche franchise sounds very interesting.

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    • Ahhh, My little dentist friend how are you???? I have not blogged for a while and I have missed talking to everyone…

      The day was a complete washout, I have since dried out and we will try again another day.

      Happy Easter,

      PN

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