Posts Tagged ‘Downshifting’

Hard work!

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

It is several years since I worked for myself running the smokehouse.  We used to get up early everyday – work quite long hours and mostly 7 days a week (farmers markets at the weekend).  Since then having downshifted a second time we still work for ourselves but  as we run courses and do lots of ‘bit’ jobs it is not regular and certainly not regular in terms of hours.  So….

This getting up early every day to drive into the city for jury service has come as a bit of a shock!  Whilst I am enjoying the ‘change’ of doing something different – and even quiet enjoying the routine – I am not at all sure that I could go back to being employed full time.

In fact Georgina made a comment the other day that we may just be unemployable!  Only in terms of  when you work for yourself for a long time  it might make it difficult to work for anyone else full time.

It is funny how precious time is – even when you have quite a lot of it.  I am used to having a really good work/life balance (actually the work/life balance is weighted towards life rather than work!). So being out of the house 9 hours a day is making me remember life before downshifting even though in those bad old days I was out of the house between 12-14 hours a day.

OK – looking at it that way – perhaps two weeks on jury service really isn’t so bad!

Jury Service

Monday, July 13th, 2009

When you lead a hectic life and work long hours being called for jury service can be a nightmare.  However when you downshift – something like being called for jury service is actually quite interesting because as you live life in the slow lane you have more time for these things.

Yes, it is inconvenient but I am not stressed about it.  I am not worrying about work – trying to fit work in around sitting in court.  I am actually quite enjoying the experience.  Meeting new people and doing a new thing.  Without the stress – being shut in a room all day with books to read, coffee to drink and people to chat to waiting to be called to a jury is really quite relaxing.

Getting loads of reading done!

Getting Away.

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

One of the great things about leading a quieter, simpler life after downshifting – is that when you do go out and do something different – it is really exciting.

We have just come back from a short break in Paris.  Fantastic – we haven’t really had a holiday for a couple of years (mostly because life at home is pretty good and when you live somewhere so wonderful why would you go away?)  But away we went….  Paris was great – but oh so expensive – 12euros for 1/2 a litre of beer – that’s £10 a pint! and the cheapest bottle of wine we saw on a menu at even the smallest of restaurants/cafes was 22 euros!  You have to be kidding!

Anyway we didn’t let that stop us – we ate lots of wonderful meals, we walked for miles and did lots, saw as much as we could.  We even got given a free ride down the Champs Elysees in a MacDonald’s rickshaw and given a free ice cream.  It was a heart stopping moment when I thought the guy was going to take us around the Arc de Triumphe in the rickshaw.  I am brave – but not that brave!

We had a great time – but as always as George says “East, West – Home is best” and she is right.  Lovely to have a break away – but also lovely to come home.  Heavens – Am I losing my sense of adventure?  Surely not!

It is just great to enjoy the simple and quiet things in life as well as all the crazy times.

Making time to play

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

After last weeks fishing I realised how it is all to easy too become complacent.  Here we are talking about having a good work/life balance – and we do, but I realised that I have slipped back into that ‘pottering’ mode when you potter around the house doing chores and forget to table in time for play.

So yesterday we booked a ‘play day’ and went riding at the Cumbria Heavy Horse centre.  It was wonderful – fantastic weather, great scenery and a thoroughly enjoyable two hours riding on the fells between the coast and Coniston.

I was lucky enough to be given a full Clydesdale to ride – called Hamish.  He is nicknamed Eeyore as he has a rather soulful look but he was lovely – a real gentleman and a pleasure to ride.

Hamish and me!

Hamish and me!

Here we are after a long ride in the heat of the day both looking  a little warm!  Hamish of course had a hose down.  Me? – Well we went off to the beach for a picnic and a splash in the sea – and it was wonderfully warm.

Then we took the scenic route home via Coniston and Ambleside and stopped for an ice cream.  What a great day – these days should be enjoyed more often.   Note to self!

TV Stars!!

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Here we are on the TV again – this time on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ with Phil and Fern!

We are a little bit anxious – but I hope it will make good viewing and show how our lives have changed so much for the better.  With a little bit of courage and a bit of ‘throwing caution to the wind’ we have created a really interesting and fulfilling life full of variety and based on quality of life rather than working 75 hours a week to earn lots of money.

Do I sound smug?  Well OK, I might do – but I make no apology for it – I think we have a great life and I am proud of it – and it is out there for anyone to do when the time is right for them.

All helped of course as we are experiencing the most glorious weather.  Blue skies, warm sun and no wind (rare for those of us living on top of the fells in Cumbria) and of course the most amazing views.

The view we wake up to every morning!

 The view we wake up to every morning!