Does this ring any bells? Mortgaged to the hilt, rising at 5.30 to commute across three counties to jobs in Dublin, fed-up, bleary-eyed and only in your thirties?
Michael Kelly and his wife were classic Celtic Cubs. Then they simplified, down-sized, opted out. Now they live happily in a leaky cottage in Dunmore East, their ties with the capital severed and their careers as corporate drones abandoned.
They grow vegetables and rear an ever-expanding coterie of animals: laying hens, a cock named Roger and pigs called Charlotte and Wilbur. And they don’t hate Mondays anymore!
This is an extremely humorous, thought provoking account of one couple’s discovery that there is an alternative to the consumer driven lifestyle.
As Michael Kelly describes the hilarious hazards of rural life as well as the advantages, he demonstrates how one brave decision can transform your life.
A funny and inspiring account of the ups and downs of letting go of the Tiger.
You can see Michael talking about the changes he has made to his life here (courtesy TV3):
You can also read about Michael's continuing adventures with rural life on his website www.michaelkelly.ie.
Michael Kelly is a freelance contributor to The Irish Times. He writes columns including ‘My Big Week’ and ‘What’s On’ for the Irish Times Magazine, ‘A New Life’ in the Health supplement and ‘The Irishman’s Diary’. His column ‘Giving Up’ in the Irish Times Magazine saw him forsake each week some of the essentials of modern life electricity, mobile phone, shaving, coffee etc. He also writes for The Gloss magazine (the Urban Farmer column and Restaurant Spy). He has appeared on The Dave Fanning Show, Mooney Goes Wild and Seoige and O’Shea. He previously worked in the I.T. industry.
The book’s style is relaxed but informed. Trenchant wit and humour live side-by-side - a very worthwhile read
An engaging, thought-provoking book
Mail on Sunday
Kelly’s enthusiasm for his new life seems genuine, and he is honest about the pitfalls. He seems to have taken to the self-sufficient life, almost by accident, like a free range hen to fresh pasture.
In an easy-going, hilarious fashion Michael Kelly forces us to stop and think.
Waterford News & Star
An engagingly constructed warts-and-all chronicle of the motivation for the move, the ups and downs of "downsizing" income and the period of adjustment required written with honesty and humour.
Kelly's style is conversational, thoughtful, and always lighthearted. Trading Paces provides a hopeful perspective to taking chances, and making those life altering changes that really matter. It may also give hope to all those novice gardeners, or tinkerers out there looking for a more sustainable lifestyle - you are not alone. Lastly, Trading Paces is fun read, good for the beach or with a home-brew on your back porch. Because, in the end, the book is really about slowing down and finding balance in this crazy modern life.
Inspiring both admiration and jealousy, the author recounts his journey with humour and candour, and provides plenty of food for thought.