So, you may have noticed that this post is a day late. Yeah, I admit it. I admit also that the last several weeks have been thin on posts in general, and even more thin on posts that actually cover the trip to Italy in detail. I haven’t abandoned them — I’ve been writing all along, but I’ve been doing it at the same time as having a very busy life, which means that I’ve had to make some changes about how everything here gets planned. 

You know how I’ve said that here we go sideways when necessary, in order to go forward after the fact? The part I didn’t mention is that occasionally when you go sideways you tumble ass over teakettle, because there’s something in your way that you didn’t even see until you tripped over it. Chance tells me that never happens if you’re a crab, but I’ve seen crabs lying on their backs, wiggling all their numerous legs to try and flip themselves back over and get on their way again, so I have my doubts about his accuracy. 

Oil painting of a crab lying on its back, claws in the air.
Crab Over Teakettle — see, it can happen! — Vincent van Gogh , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

I made a mistake. And then I tripped over my mistake, and I went sprawling. I’ve been playing catch-up ever since, trying to make good on the posts I’ve promised you after putting myself squarely in a position that makes them six times as difficult to write as the Africa posts ever were. 

It’s all in the timing. You see, in Africa, I almost always wrote same-day posts about what I had seen and done since the last post went in. We didn’t publish them every day, but I wrote every single afternoon, during the siesta time while the animals rested and hid from the heat. Because of that, I never had to work hard to remember the details I wanted to tell you, and I never had to worry about when I could find time to write. I just scribbled everything on my phone during the couple of hours at midday each day, and I had the whole of the Africa trip covered before I even got off the plane in Seattle at the end. 

In Italy, I didn’t do that. And it cost me badly. 

Because there was so much we were doing in Italy that involved walking, and it usually covered the whole day, I didn’t have either the time or the energy most days to write on the trip itself. I did the posts about Rome while I was still in Italy, and Herculaneum, and by then I had run out of time and we were ready to go home. I told myself I would write as soon as I got settled in here again, but that’s the kind of plan which never survives contact with the enemy. Or, in this case, with a numerous family almost all of whom usually needed something from me at any given moment. 

In addition to the fact that when I try to write at home, I get constantly called on to do something else instead, there’s also the fact that I can’t write as well nor as easily when I’m at home. At least not about travel, I can’t. When I wrote about Africa, in Africa, I remembered everything I was writing about perfectly, because it was only the day before, and sometimes even that very morning. I just sat down with an open word processing window and spilled my guts. But writing about Italy three months later, in Seattle, means that I remember the broad outlines and have to look up everything we saw so that I make sure I get the details correct for you. It takes twice as long and it’s three times as intimidating.

So I’ve learned from my mistakes. Wherever I go from here (and there is another big trip in the works! I’ll tell you all about that one soon), I’m going to need to build in enough time to write all my posts about the trip while I’m still on the trip. That’s likely to mean paying for a few more days than I would need if I were just traveling and not writing… but I love the writing, too. So long as any of you are still interested in reading about my trips, I’ll keep sending back the stories for you. And in between, we’ll talk about all kinds of travel-related things. 

But right now, I have to dig myself out of a hole. I made a mistake in Italy, but I still have to give you the rest of the Italy stories, and that’s going to take a while. So this blog is going to stop publishing for a couple of months, while I catch up on my writing. I’m expecting to reopen for weekly publishing again at New Year’s. 

At which time, the Italy report will finally be completed. Hooray! And thank you so much for your patience.

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One thought on “Ass Over Teakettle

  1. Steve says:

    I’m planning to use the time to make some improvements on the blog, mainly in the areas of speed and accessibility.

    If you’re a WordPress geek, you’ve probably guessed that I’m planning to switch to a block theme.

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