As the week draws to a close, I'd love to share an interesting and exciting something that I've knitted, or sewed, or done in the garden. Trouble is, the last ten days or so much of my time has been gobbled up by the minutiae of life - necessary but incredibly time-consuming. I'm sure you all deal with extended doses of bureaucracy, automated phone answering systems with no human being at the other end, inexplicable lines, voicemails that don't get returned, and so on and so on. Sometimes, though, I feel that Italy has raised bureaucracy to a whole new level, extracting absurd amounts of time and money from people, and strangling business and private life alike. For instance, last week I had to renew my driver's license, which cost €100 in fees, and involved four trips to the renewal office: the first to find out what I needed to do, because nobody would answer the phone; the second to hand in documents and payment, because it couldn't be done online or by mail; the third to have my eye test done, by an optometrist who, despite my having an appointment, was over an hour late; the fourth to collect a provisional driver's document. And I STILL don't have my new license, which will require a fifth trip to collect it next week.
As a result of all this, my crafting has been anything but exciting. I did knit some this week, but made a mistake somewhere along the line, and will have to unravel. I sewed something, too, but stitched a sleeve inside out, and will have to unstitch. I also gardened a little, though I mostly took my gardening basket out for a brief airing, before having to go off to do something else. But a lesson I learned from having babies is that some things just aren't worth grieving over: you can rock a baby, but you can't make him sleep. So, in the same spirit in which I once sat for hours rocking the crib, or paced the corridor with a baby in my arms, to maintain zen-like calm while waiting for the Italian bureaucratic machine to grind ahead, I'll just scale back my crafting expectations and choose one super-easy knitting project for next week (this?). Knitting while dealing with the minutiae of life is bound to make them move faster.