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

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Drop it a cog and give it some throttle•

Downshift |ˈdounˌ sh ift|
verb [ intrans. ]

change to a lower gear in a motor vehicle or bicycle.

• slow down; slacken off : well before the country slipped into recession, business was downshifting.

• change a financially rewarding but stressful career or lifestyle for a less pressured and less highly paid but more fulfilling one : they want to downshift from full-time work.

Alexei was talking about the first definition but I'm talking here about the last definition• It's what we did and so/ I suppose/ we must be downshifted now• After all this time // who knows? Perhaps we are in bottom gear? Or/ neutral?

I'll agree to the "less highly paid"/// shite/ we aren't paid at all! I'll certainly concur with the "more fulfilling"/// but career? No• Lifestyle? Yes! We used both to have "stressful careers"• We used both to have "stressful lifestyles"• Now/ though/ we have lives and carers. I care for G and she cares for me and everyone else around us cares about us two too• We have lives that we live rather than the lifestyles we had and that ran us• And ran us ragged at that•

But it is a full-time thing• It takes up all of our hours• And isn't that the difference? That/ and the fact that we do it from choice? Day in and day out? From choice• And with nobody telling us what to do. And with nobody checking up on us/ or setting deadlines for us?

Culture shock


the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes.

And/ do we or did we suffer culture shock? Not a bit of it• But then we had been dry-running the life and the place for 3 months of every year for ten years before we finally dropped the cog - or two - or three• That's not to say there were no surprises. Had there been no surprises I would have been surprised• Most of them pleasant/// some frustrating/ but now that we are rich in time and poor in cash being in a place where money will not speed things up and patience is the only thing that saves ones sanity it all makes eminent sense• Suddenly/ and unsurprisingly/ it all fits like a glove.

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