24th November 2007
Machiavelli spent a few nights, they say, at Castiglione del Lago, a beautiful little walled town on the shores of Lake Trasimeno, 15 minutes drive away from us. It juts out into the lake, in a shape that resembles the uvula at the back of your throat. No-one seems to like that analogy, but it is reasonably accurate and I'm sticking with it.
Anyway, he stayed at the fort and, coincidentally, we live (and my children go to school) in the same Comune. So, with Machiavelli firmly in mind, I offered my voluntary services to the teachers at the school, expecting nothing more that a polite rebuff whilst, at the same time, hoping for a little more credibility when, next year, I offer an after-school Art club.
That was two weeks ago.
Today I found myself reading an English version of Charles Dickens', 'A Christmas Carol' to 53 eight year olds and 4 teachers in a tiny classroom, and more nervous than in any of my 15 years teaching Art in England. I have to help prepare them for their Christmas play and, because of my big mouth, also have to get stuck into the set decoration as well. Fortunately, in Italian schools the last day of term is Christmas Eve, so there is exactly one month to do it... what could possibly go wrong?
The stupidest thing I did today;
Bad one today.
I am a single dad/mum this week and one of my more peculiar duties was to sew the elastic on two new pairs of ballet shoes for the girls. All was going well until I was discovered by, none other than, our manly builder in mid-stitch!
There was nothing I could do - no amount of manly posturing or grunting could get me out of this one. Ten months of careful image-building lost in a single 'moment of madness'. He's probably still shaking his head now, though to be fair, I did a pretty good job with those bits of pink elastic and he may have been secretly impressed by my fine motor skills.