Lesson: ALL I’VE EVER KNOWN (C1-C2)

2. Read and speak

The lady in the film is Margaret Gallagher, who has lived all her life in the same home: a hundred-year-old thatched cottage in a rural location in county Fermanagh, northwest Ireland. In common with most dwellings of its time, Margaret’s cottage has no electricity, no running water and no oven.

As of 2021, she is still living there at the age of 79, and still active in her local community, with a life centred around the small village of Belcoo.

The film we’re watching today dates back to 1992, and is the most extensive record of Margaret’s lifestyle and outlook.

a. How many appliances or conveniences in your home depend on electricity or running water? How well would you survive without them?

b. Do you know of anyone in your area, or is there anyone you’ve heard of, who lives without these conveniences?

c. In developed countries such as Northern Ireland, why do some people choose to live ‘off-grid’?

d. Let’s take an example of an everyday activity: washing or taking a bath. How can someone do this if the house has no water and no electricity? What are the stages of the process?

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