An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Despite the lack of a reasonable connection (ADSL absent - again and still) I just had to post today to let you all know that we are all OK here.

We were down at the supermarket early this afternoon when the walls began to shake and the emergency lighting fell down. The shelving units began to tremble and the floor beneath us shook, or rather swelled. The girl on the till began to cry and a shout went up "Seismos!". In moments we, all the staff and customers, were outside under a clear sky and the ground beneath us continued to tremble, feeling more like a liquid than a solid. The floor to ceiling plate glass windows of the Zakaroplastia (cake shop) opposite visibly wavered and the assistants and owner were soon beside us. As a man, everybody reached out their mobile phones and rang their loved ones. The till girl was phoning to find out about her two children - she cried and shook as she phoned and received reassurances - Gill's arm around her comforting.

Some, nearly all, of the men and boys were soon making light of it all but their faces were grey and their cheer too strained to pass for genuine. The women at least were honest about their fear and trepidation. This machismo must be deeply seated but it doesn't make the womenfolk feel any better. Perhaps it is only another coping mechanism.

After the ground stopped moving and we had all collected ourselves as best we could we went back inside: signs above the aisles swayed back and forth - a mesmeric reminder of what had so recently passed us by. Packets of dry good littered the floor - a metric of the force - but there was no major damage - no structural harm done. The INKA supermarket around the corner however had lost all of its wine and spirit shelving. Bottles, can and broken glass covered the floors like a chaotic mosaic and the alcohol fumes greeted you at the entrance where the owner stood: serving but allowing nobody inside. When pressed about his losses he looked nonplussed - "that is only things - so long as no person was hurt what does it matter?"

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