As I have mentioned before somewhere, my background is in Banking, Finance and Accounting.
That, in itself, is nothing to write about. You are correct. But I do have to remind myself that I will have some very complicated financial assessments to complete for a couple of clients soon, partly I can do in Italy but the signing off has to be done in England.
The problem with spending time poring over excel spreadsheets with lovely coloured cells (please don't ask, it helps even when this writer suffers from some kind of colour-blindness), is that Art By Three are convinced that I can somehow come up with a budget for "The Grand Tour" and stick to it!!
So, the first task they set me yesterday was to come up with all expenditure and a Trial Balance for the Switzerland and Austrian mountain campaign. They wouldn't take any of my excuses to avoid this challenge, in fact, they knew that I actually wouldn't be able to resist it...
So, buried under a (yet another) pile of receipts, login passwords and a friendly, trusted calculator that performs its duties faithfully in English and not Italian, whereby it would normally be missing a few "transactions", shutting down for two hours after lunch etc.... (To all my Italian friends, you know that is A JOKE.......err)... I managed to reconcile.
I will admit we overspent a tad. Switzerland is very expensive indeed. One evening I had to decide whether to buy a small beer in the hotel or instead buy a villa in France.... But if you had the joy of hurling yourselves down a mountainside on three-wheeled go carts (I can't see ever doing that again!), would you have a pop at £xxx?
That day was just amazing, there are photos of such beauty, and I can include my dear daughters in that picture. From Grindelwald to First and then just keep walking up until you meet with a couple of lake-ettes. On the walk up, I always chat with any other fellow walker that fancies the same.
I met a lovely Korean lady and we discussed the merits of hurting your legs in order to get an even better view...she said, thank goodness for the cable car!, to which I readily agreed. She then said that she had met a really old man at the top of the cable who had walked all the way up from the bottom!! I said, amazing but he was probably only 25 years old when he started...and she started to giggle, then laugh (in Korean, which is great). She said I'm really sorry, that is so funny, I have to tell my friends behind. Then, as I march ahead, all I can hear over the chuckling marmots is the chuckling and laughing of a group of Korean tourists. I was proud for just one moment, in that a most simple, inane, innocuous comment to us English, translated so well into Korean..
Art by Three are off to the shops today in the local town of Riva del Garda. No doubt I'll be doing some further financial reports later.
I have been given the list of chores on the 'to-do' command, but only 12 days left before we head south as The Grand Tour winds its way to Lucca, Pisa, Grossetto, Siena with the final onslaught of Florence. Because Tuscany can also be expensive, and as I have sneakily already paid for the accommodation, I'll try and amend the budget upwards by £50 or so in order to have an ice-cream with three flavours and not just 2......
Have a lovely day all.