With festive verve, life at 36 continues.
Wednesday 30th November 1.15pm, my mobile rings. Mr “Truckman” tells me he is waiting outside my house. I frantically ring Alex and May, the two appointed santa helpers (with or without the prerequisite green elf suits), to execute Operation Panettoni. Alex is on her way. May is stuck and will take some time. At 1.30pm I skid, Starsky and Hutch style into a parking spot. THREE 7ft pallets the width of my victorian staring back at me on the road.
“Madam, where would you like me to put these?”
My feeble answer was, “at some stage inside my house”. “Would you like a cup of coffee?”, I asked earnestly. Looking at his watch, “only time for a quick one, Luv.” [Coffee, I presume.] I turned to my 81 year old Ma and she shuffles into the house, mouth completely numbed having had two fillings just done. Mr “Truckman” then suddenly blurts, “OK, I’ll help you with some of the boxes but I don’t have much time today”, proceeding to hang his luminescent yellow overjacket on my front door.
YES YES YES.. the sneaky plan worked. A freshly brewed mug of coffee appeared… though not before the 1st box appeared in the living room… a sneaky grandma at work. SuperAli arrives straight from the mosque to help. All 80 boxes in my tiny Victorian living room.
Ali is let off the hook till orders are sorted. Alex arrives with big big smile, bubbly and raring to go. In 5 hours flat, the statuesque blond re-packs all the boxes in true logistical style, DHL eat your heart out. First delivery of 127 panettoni left with uber efficient SuperAli at 8.15pm. Meanwhile, Akemi clad with her wad of delivery sheets sails through the doors of 36. Over 200 panettoni re-sorted into bags during our meagre supper of lemon pasta from Gragnano with grilled giant prawns, smothered with Frantoio de Sommaia EVOOil, lemon zest and Japanese chilli, washed down with chilled bottle of Borgo’s 2008 Vertis (verdicchio).
Almost all panettoni collected. I cannot thank my friends and supporters enough for their kindness. 587 panettoni entered the doors of 36 and almost all have settled into their new homes by now – well – least for a few days, be it under the Xmas tree, sitting proudly on shelves gorgeously “aromatising” the surroundings or hacked and eaten with crumbs ladened around. Visions of the story of the Little Gingerbread Man comes to mind…
Charities supported: Kids for Kids and Galapagos Foundation.
A big THANK YOU to Augusta Panettoni of Milano and to Giulia without who, this would not have happened.