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We may all have somehow hoped, at least at the very beginning, that the skeptics would end up being right, when they said that in a couple of weeks all would peter out into awkward silence and the next Big Thing…

But they weren’t – and now the whole of Italy is tightly quarantined. To be out and about without documented necessity is a criminal offence, these days, and even to go to the grocer’s you need a written and signed statement to that effect.  I’m not complaining, mind – not in the least. It has to be done – and, if it must work, it has to be done thoroughly.

So I sit at home, work at my translations and editings, play housewife, read a good deal, take Skillshare courses, make plans for the day theatres will open again, do a little gardening, keep bumping into things that I used to take for granted and now just can’t be done (and it will be a while before they can), watch the chickadees and a couple of wood pigeons in the garden, listen to the silence, have conversations on the phone, cut a play for Marcello, watch far too many news (or at least, my mother does), and write.

I’m working on my year-long project – the thing that took the place of last year’s story-a-month. It manages to be both more and less structured – an experiment in a new-to-me form, one that I find fascinating but a little hard. And I’d been dithering. You know, the way you stand on the pool’s edge, wondering if you really want to plunge in all that coldish water, and be wet, and have to swim… Well, if nothing else, I’ve taken the plunge, and now I am actually working on it – as opposed to halfheartedly poking at it with a stick.

So this is how it is over here – how I am: cloistered up, bird-watching, biscuit-baking – and writing.