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During our recent holiday in Tuscany, having spied San Pellegrino in Alpe on the map as a potentially interesting place to visit and with a sleeping child in the back of the hire car, we decided to amble our way up the steep and winding mountain roads to take a look. It’s a stunning place – a hamlet consisting of a couple of bars and restaurants for the tourists, a museum of rural life and a very old church and monastery. But, above all, it has some of the most stunning views in the high Apennines. We stopped, walked around, had lunch and ice cream, and relaxed. For me, it was one of the highlights of the holiday.
When we got back to the car, I noticed that Miffy was missing. I’m not sure if I have mentioned before that Tom has a toy Miffy to whom he is almost surgically attached. We did try to discourage this at first, but eventually it got to the stage that it was easier to let him hold Miff than to put up with the plaintive "Miffy! Miffy! Miiiiffeeeee!" when he couldn’t find her. (And you should see what it’s like when Miff has a "bath" – Tom’s face is pressed against the door as she spins at 1400rpm). This had potential disaster qualities, for whilst we now have a spare Miff (Miffy Two), we know that she’s a poor substitute for the slightly grey and battered real thing.
I thought back quickly to recall where I’d last seen Miff during our three hour sojourn in this other-worldly village. I remembered seeing her by a seat we had sat on that is just out of view in the photo above. As the tears started to roll down Tom’s cheeks, I set off at a jog to find her. Now, I’m not the fittest person in the world, but I’m not terrifically unfit either. I jogged down to the seat and found two wizened and ancient local men pondering this off-white rabbit sitting on the floor. I picked her up, turned and started back up the hill, just as my lungs were about to burst – jogging at 1525 metres (5000 feet) is not for the faint-hearted.