"Grandma knows how to do" or the revenge of the grannies


What if our grannies were right before everyone else? Incarnation of common sense and anti-waste, the granny, this ecologist who was ignoring, is in return for "hype".

By Pascale Kremer Posted today at 00h58

Time to Play 6 min.

From the series "Aunt Juliette", Valanjou (Maine-et-Loire), 1987.
From the series "Aunt Juliette", Valanjou (Maine-et-Loire), 1987. DENIS DAILLEUX / AGENCE VU

It was beautiful to worship him, his thoughts annoyed. "Shut the door, you warm the ass of God …", "Be careful you peel too big! ", "All these sheets of toilet paper for little buttocks? " At Léonie, in Villeneuve-l'Archevêque, in Yonne, the dishes were done in basin, in the sink, the shower had to be uncluttered before exceptional use, the television looked, agglutinated around the stove, the temperature of the rooms pushed to bury themselves to the eyes under the quilt, the sweaters were hand-knitted, the rows of green beans watered in rainwater, the bread crusts exchanged for the neighbor's tomatoes, which raised chickens and rabbits , and the grandfather's biclou took the place of SUV (sport utility vehicle).

Nearly half a century later, homage must be paid to him: Léonie, known as "mister Nini" was right. This grandmother of the country and of few means, who had known only too much about war, ration tickets, and rutabagas, was by necessity an ecologist even before the word existed; she practiced, without imagining herself a pioneer, sobriety, zero waste, the circular economy, permaculture, locavorism, the exchange of services and the do it yourself.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also "Do-it-yourself": the rebirth of doing-yourself

Fabric handkerchiefs and wood stoves

Who wants to reduce its carbon footprint adopts more or less, today, the way of life of grannies in rural France. Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis) and Villeneuve-l'Archevêque: same tissue handkerchiefs, same wood stoves, same bikes, same fight! The rapprochement does not necessarily cheer the environmental activists, tired of being sent back to the candlelight. To mobilize youth, Greta Thunberg is better than Nini. Though… " Granny (The Iconoclast, 2014)it's a political label, Philippe Torreton believes. This is my most committed book even though it was not my original intention. "

In early 2014, the actor published this ode to his Norman grandmother Denise and to "His simplicity of life", which has since continued to sell (185,000 copies) and earn mail. " I am wary, he weighs, of our nostalgic look. His existence was tough all the same. But part of the survival of the human species depends on our ability to reclaim its sobriety, having been so driven to consume, to throw. It is neither past nor reactionary. It's a return to common sense. "


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