How Lord of the Rams Can Help you Get Through the Recession

It seems everyone is talking about the recession lately. To be honest, I’ve been predicting one for a long time – mainly because no economy can survive with one industry as its main crutch – and the construction industry has been a hell of a crutch, to say the least. Add in the travesty that is the banking crisis and you can see that it was always a disaster waiting to happen. Meanwhile, the vast amounts of money that have gone through Ireland during the “Celtic Tiger” era have been squandered by the government. Take a look at the health, education and transportation systems and then tell me that we have received good bang for our buck over the past decade. Anyway, I’m no expert and far be it from me to start lecturing on the economy. But one thing that has struck me over the past few years is this:

Yes, everyone had more money than ever before but were they any happier? Houses were ridiculously overpriced considering the average national wage (I know this is beginning to rectify itself but it’s a little too late for those who have purchased their first property in the past few years), childcare prices have gone through the roof and, perhaps most significantly, everybody seems to be working harder with less free time to enjoy themselves.

I grew up in the eighties so I know quite a bit about hard times – money was always tight but we did the best with what we had. And in the nineties, I spent my college days living on a meagre 15 pounds per week. But despite the downside associated with such poverty, I look fondly back on those times and realise that they strengthened me as a person, helping me become the man I am today. Perhaps that’s exactly what this country needs – a good hard kick up the arse!

One thing I learned in college was that every financial problem had a solution – I learnt how to stretch money beyond what anyone might perceive as possible. And I had a good teacher in “No Shame” – one of the main characters in Lord of the Rams. Together we furnished our college flat with free lightbulbs, cutlery and toilet roll. We bought our washing powder by the weight – packaged in small clear bags and costing about a pound a go. Via various dubious yet genius scams, we made free telephone calls, heated the flat for free and secured free cable for our rented television (read about the cable episode at Furthermore, I never ate out (unless you count the odd trip to Supermacs), I ate the same food almost every day, I never bought clothes (and thus resembled a tramp) and I availed of the cheapest off-licence beer (who remembers six cans of Dutch Gold for a fiver?) before going out for a night on the town.

Whilst I’m not condoning or recommending much of what we did in order to survive, in many ways I’m glad to have known such hard times and I think Lord of the Rams is a better book for all the misadventures we had during those lean years.

Until later,

For more recession-beating tips told with good humour, pick up a copy of Lord of the Rams today by clicking here. It’s ironically priced at a wallet-bursting  €14.50.

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