I’ve already hinted at it – while the packing cloth has turned out very nicely, and the sailcloth is about as perfectly as I had imagined it, there’s a third type of fabric to be done… and that one is acting up. Considerably.
Doing archaeotechnical work (as in “recreating stuff known from archaeological sources”) is interesting, and exciting, and lovely, and usually it is great fun. It is even more so if you are doing it as part of your work, and are actually getting paid for it.
However, archaeotechnical work also includes a guarantee that you will occasionally get kicked into your face by your technique and materials. You’ve not estimated correctly how long something will take, or how difficult it will be. Something behaves unexpectedly and throws all your plans into the garbage bin, leaving you to draw up new ones and do the work again. Leaving you also to lament your monetary gains that are joining the plans at the happy bin-party as your work hours, now unpaid, rack up and up and up. Germans have the term “Lehrgeld” for things like that – the tuition fee you pay, in this case to life.
And yes, all of the times in the past that something like this has happened, I did get to learn a lot from the experience. However, it is still painful. It’s not only the feeling that you have made a mistake, or two; it’s the tendency for a bad feeling to creep into your soul, making you think that maybe you are not competent at all. Maybe it will never work. Maybe you should never have agreed to do it.
It’s especially painful if it is taking a colleague along for the ride, and the self-doubts are not getting fewer with someone else hanging in the same bad spot with you. There’s no way out, though, but to try it again and again, keeping at it until you succeed. Hopefully before the deadline has rushed by… and at the moment, I think I can already hear it. (It does not help that February has fewer days than any other month in the year…)
If you’re looking for me? I’ll be spinning some more. Again.