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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: November 28, 2008 @ 3:26 pm

    Living off the fat of the land

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    Tomorrow is Buy Nothing Day and The Irish Times has an interesting feature by Fionola Meredith on Donegal-born Mark Boyle who is planning to live without spending one red cent for an entire year (To read the piece click here)

    Boyle intends to live off the fat of the land, not to mention supermarket cast-offs. The way the economy is going, he could become a role-model for the rest of us. I hope he does not put my colleague Conor Pope’s excellent Pricewatch out of business!

    All the indications are that this economic crisis is going to get an awful lot worse before it – maybe - gets better. In the newspaper industry alone, not only are we coping with a fall-off in advertising revenue but the online revolution is threatening to make printed newspapers obsolete.

    I’m told that one major US newspaper is now an exclusively on-line product whilst another does not produce a print edition on Saturdays anymore. But the  problem is that generating income from online ads is a more difficult proposition.

    Incidentally, Mark Boyle’s lifestyle would not be unfamiliar to an older generation in this country. Time was when probably a majority of the population grew their own spuds in the back garden. I can remember as a child in County Wexford we kept chickens and my father even had a cow in a field outside the town which he used to milk every day, although we were not a farming family.

    Eamon de Valera’s ghost must be pleased. His ideal of “frugal comfort” is being realised at last – the frugal bit anyway. And then there’s the knowledge that if we have to beg on the streets we may be liable to a €700 fine.

     Deaglán de Bréadún

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