Over the last couple of months, we have been busily finalising our residency status here, in preparation for Scott’s retirement, and also to Brexit proof ourselves. In Scott’s case, this has been incredibly straightforward. A couple of visits to the comune, a quick eye test in the local car club office (for his driving licence), a trip to the local hospital (and to the post office to pay the annual fee) to register with a doctor, and he’s done.
My journey, which should simply have involved changing my residency from Rome to Sabina, proved rather more difficult. Possibly even stressful. In fact, Scott actually received his Italian identity card almost six months before I did. My final goal, before being permitted to apply for the all important identity card, was to convert my simple, green codice fiscale card into a blue tessera sanitaria card, so that I could register with a doctor.
I don’t understand either, but I had to do it. So one bright Monday morning, I set cheerfully off to the office in a building 45 minutes away, to find that it was only open Tuesday to Thursday.
Back again Tuesday, to be told my paperwork was incorrect.
Having taken several weeks to assemble the paperwork, I returned, queued for an hour, and had to leave for work.
By now it was August, so I had to go on holiday.
And so, on the first Wednesday after my holiday, I returned to the office. To find that they weren’t open on Wednesdays in August.
Thursday, the computer suffered an outage.
So, the following Tuesday, I finally, FINALLY, I got my paperwork.
Then I got earache.
So I WhatsApped my shiny new doctor for an appointment. But. August. So I waited until September. And it turns out that my doctor is lovely, and keen to take English lessons, so she booked a course with me. And three visits later, she cancelled her English course, as it turned out that my earache was, in fact, shingles.
And shingles is caused by stress, and work causes stress.
So, on doctor’s orders, I’ve done absolutely nothing for the last three weeks. No work, no bureaucracy, no farming, no blog writing, no admin … nothing.
Nothing is very boring, and also, it turns out, rather stressful.
My nation seems to be imploding, with much of it broadcast on the telly, so telly watching is off limits (too stressful).
The farm is clearly in cahoots with the doctor, and so the grapes are refusing to ripen, so that I can’t harvest them, because that would be work. So I can’t walk the dogs, because walking involves seeing the grapes, and that is stressful.
Last week I tried to go back to work.
Thank heavens for The Builder, who is an authority on shingles, and also, possibly, in cahoots with he doctor. He has been delivering fruit from his orto by the bucket load, to provide me with the vitamins that I need, and he has also been providing me with a daily commentary on how I look (the shingles rash is on my face). I must not return to work until “the ugliness is gone”, apparently.
But on Friday, I came up with a cunning plan, and snuck off with our visitor to Viterbo, and to the healing hot springs on the outskirts of the town, to bathe my ugly face in the hot, stinky water for the afternoon. And then I remembered make up, and concealer, specifically.
And so here I am, once again, on my little train, on my way to work. And I guess I’ll just have to hope the doctor doesn’t read my blog!