Yes, we're still here.
June was supposed to be a quiet month, giving us plenty of opportunity to start ticking off Biennale events from the Little Pink Book. Or, given our track record so far, possibly not. It hasn't worked out like that. Caroline has been busier than ever, albeit with nice, motivated, and above all non-shouty adult students. Work slowed to a trickle for me, but I found myself jumping through hoops with a series of interviews for a job which I am almost certainly not going to get, but which sounded interesting enough to be worth having a go at anyway.
People have been queuing up to offer Caroline work. A Famous Edinburgh Arts Impresario was very keen to give her the chance to look after his exhibition. An interesting opportunity but, unfortunately, an unpaid one; and the offer was politely declined. The other one was more interesting : the chance to be an actual performer at the Biennale. On the surface, it sounded like quite a nice job - for a number of hours each day, she would sit in a space in a palazzo reading from a script by the artist (a rather interesting piece about the Algerian war of independence). After meeting with the artist and her representative, she was all ready to sign up, until the contract arrived with the number of expected hours suddenly doubled; bringing the hourly rate of pay down to something less than six euros. I was very proud of her for getting it, but even more pleased that she turned it down.
Caroline has just finished her last lesson. I have a surprisingly busy day tomorrow and then that'll pretty much be it. A twelve day break in the UK, and then back to Venice for some quality altana time, and throwing ourselves on the mercy of the Little Pink Book.
So there we go. That was our first anno scolastico. Now, a number of people have asked us why we don't try something different, possibly less stressful, and certainly more lucrative, such as working as tour guides. This suggestion has come up a lot, so I think it's worth explaining why not. The answer is very simple : it's very, very hard to become a tour guide in Venice. You need fluency in at least three languages. Your knowledge of the art, architecture, history, politics and music of Venice needs to be forensic. You cannot just pitch up and start running tours. I have Venetian friends who work as guides. It took them years of study to qualify. How would I feel if I ran into them in town whilst running an unlicensed tour? Is it really worth putting a friendship at risk for the sake of a few extra bob? No, for now, at least, it's a teacher's life for us.
As I said, we're off to the UK for a few weeks. Hopefully there'll be more time to write when I get back, but in the meantime buon estate everyone.