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And that recording now one must not get one's knickers in a twist. I'm trying. These are the stories your granny never told and loved by everybody. I was raising the kinds of kids and I slipped up on some unusually on the road and my mom like. Hey, everybody, welcome back to this month's episode of Stories Your Granny Never Told, it's Nicki, your host. And every month I interview older folk about their unexpected life stories. Well, it's the holiday season.
Maybe you've gotten some snow, you're wrapped up in a scarf and you're just ready to stuff yourself with chocolates and cookies. And so who better to interview this month than my very own grandma? So this is kind of like related.
Let's say it's Cannan with episode two, which is bigger Uppal. As you'll hear, they divorced at some point. But there's like some intertwined stories in there by Gerba is like Superbad. She was a farmer, a shepherd. She took care of kids. She knows so much about plants.
She knows how to like tan leather, like she has all of these insane skills that I'm very jealous of.
And so I really needed to interview her. And I need you guys to hear how fun she is and all of her traveling around the world stories. And I know you're just going to love it.
It's great. So before we get to that, don't forget to subscribe on iTunes, leave a comment, a rating that will help the podcast get up in the charts. We're also on social media at stories your granny never told. And if you like my content and you want to buy me coffee, there's a link for that on my website, which is stories you granny never told Dotcom.
And if you have a grandma who's awesome or a grandpa or you yourself are grandma, grandpa, go ahead and email me and I'd love to interview you. Two stories your granny never told at Gmail dot com. So without any further ado, please meet the one responsible for one of the clips in the intro and my grandma Marjolein.
So in English, so if you could please tell us your name and your age. Yeah. And who you are.
My name is Mark Jolina and my age is 77. And you're my grandma.
And I'm your grandma. So where were you born? Where did you grow up? How did it all begin? I am born just at the end of the war. My mother was pregnant eight months and then the Germans came and it puts the whole family out of the house. My father and my mother and I was born in a truck.
And in the Netherlands. In Braider in Holland. You were really born in a truck? I didn't know. Yes. Yes, they lived in a truck. Somebody gave them truck. They lived in a truck. And I was born in the truck. So that's why I like traveling, I suppose. So did you also grow up in Britain?
I grew up in Braider. Yes. And then when you were sort of young, you decided to start traveling, right?
When I was 18, I. I decided I wanted to go to France. I always wanted to go to France. And I went as a girl au pair in a very nice family. I had such a good address that they taught me a lot about the country. I was very happy there. There were five children to take care of.
And so when you were there, you learn French and then you stayed there or you you went back?
No, I stayed one year to learn the language. I went back home and then I married your grandfather. Yeah. And I was twenty. He was the man of my life. I had to share him with other women.
So I didn't like that. And you guys were kind of like hippies and hitchhiking all over and traveling. We had like, it's. Yeah, it's different than today. You can really do that today anymore.
No, you can't anymore. But we could do it. We could we could go. Well, we went to Spain, we went to countries around is still in Europe, but the countries around Holland and with the motorbike or.
No, just hitchhiking.
Oh yeah. No, no, no. Then later we had a motorbike, an old triumph, very heavy. And we went to the south of France with the motorbike. But we could never do the whole trip. The motorbike always.
How do you say that broke down? You stopped halfway and to repair it and. Well, it was quite fun in those days.
Yeah. Nowadays not not so, so much for me.
It would be difficult now. Yeah. Well, you still travel a lot though. Oh yeah. Yeah. But now with a car.
Yeah. Are in plane.
So you were kind of like a farmer for most of your life or a shepherd.
When did that start out and was that kind of your plan or or what.
No, it was not my plan at all. In Holland I had a children's farm. Yeah. I don't know how you called.
So you weren't growing children, but you were taking care of them in during the holidays, the children of the big cities came to my place where we already had lots of animals. We had a horse, we had two donkeys. We had sheep and goats and rabbits and ducks and well, everything, every animal, children like, they could find it at our place.
We had a farm in Holland already.
So you just decided you want to have farm and then you got all these animals and then you made this sort of vacation farm for the kids.
Yeah, it was a holiday farm. And yeah. Then after nine years of marriage, we separated and your grandfather bought a boat and I bought a farm in France and I wanted to go on with the children in France and then, yeah, the bureaucracy.
How do you go that in India it was so different and very severe and we were not allowed to do it.
Oh, I went in a commune. I went with other people with five adults and my two children. We went to France. So there was like a hippie thing or.
Were you wearing, like, all the clothes and the hair and everything. Yeah. And the scarf and my hair and very big skirts and clubs and the clothes were really.
Yes. Oh yeah.
We had our yellow clogs from Holland was very Dutch. Yeah. And so we could not do the children's farm and the commune stopped very quickly.
It didn't work out surprise, surprise by results, but I say that the others went back to Holland and I stayed and I never regretted it. And we had our neighbor was a shepherd. And I was always when you when people couldn't find me, I was at the neighbor's barn with his 500 sheep. So I wanted to do sheep to a..
Yes, that's how it happens. The first five years in France, we were working only doing seasonal work.
OK, so how many sheep did you first get when you started?
I started with 10 pregnant sheep. Oh.
And then from there, I guess it multiplies pretty quickly.
Well, for some years I had 24 and at the end I had 50 sheep. And you use them mostly for cheese.
Yeah, they were milk sheep. They very strange.
They came from Corsica or some sheep in the south of France because they have utter utter you say like a goat's very big, more milk than it's easy to milk, it's easier to take the milk and the how did you like learn all of the cheap stuff?
Well, with that neighbor who was a shepherd in the Pyrenees in the summer, he was in the mountains. And in the winter he came to to our region because it was warmer and there was still grass. Yeah. I went to the mountains to learn how to make the Pyrenees cheese there. And we at three o'clock in the morning, we had to to get to go up on the mountain to milk 500 sheep together, two people. So we were milking for hours and then we went down to make the cheese and then we had to go back to milk again because you have to milk twice a day.
So you had, like, good hiking muscles then? Yeah. That moment, yes. How old were you around this time when you were doing the sheep stuff?
I was in my home. I think it was thirty five something, you know, and I did it for fifteen years.
And you were so you were selling your cheese at the market and.
Yeah. Yeah. And all of that.
So yeah. And we had a cow too. We have cow. Right. And the cow was like a pet. Right. Yeah.
Or the cow. It was a little dirty cow and her name was Flora and she came in the house and everything.
She was like a very big dog.
And you had sheep dogs too. Yeah. I had a I had one sheepdog, a border collie. And my border collie was very, very well trained.
She could get the whole bunch of sheep back to the house without me going to look for them.
Now, how do you train that dog?
I got a dog from her, from a shepherd and my as a baby.
And when she was seven months old, he took her back and with a big rope, he attached her meters and meters of rope he attached to her mother. And that's how she learned how to do.
Oh, cool. Yeah.
She said a whole month there. And then she came back and she could I it was she just couldn't talk. But she understood everything I said.
Yeah. And she could like pick out did she. By name and everything. Yeah.
She, I just had to show her with my hands and then she, she, she understood what I meant and she was always sleeping with the sheep.
Well that's a pretty good tool to have so that you don't have to do a lot of extra work. Yeah. Yeah. So at the same time like you learn so many skills of the sheep, like you are also doing gardening and and growing all of your own food because you are super organic and like everything came from your own. Yeah.
We even made our own breads. And when you have a cow that is so nice to have a cow because you only go to the supermarket to buy your green sponges or your matches, you with the cow.
Are you have you have the cream, the milk, the butter. We made our own butter. You have the veal. So the veal meat every year. What else. The cheese yogurt.
It's it's fantastic to have a cow.
We had a few technical difficulties here because it is very hard to work when you don't have good internet. But we're back.
OK, so we're recording again after some technical difficulties. But it's OK.
Yeah, yeah, it's terrible. I'm living in they call it a wide zone here. Yeah. And sometimes I have nothing, no telephone, no computer, nothing.
Not the best internet ever. But it's OK. So we were talking about you having your herd of sheep and all of that. What, what did you do after that. Or what did you learn from that? Oh, what I learned from my sheep, sure, I learned a lot from my sheep, you know, some people do pay a lot of money to do meditation.
I just went into the barn in the evening when when people couldn't find me. I was in a barn where my sheep were. I don't know how you say that in English. Lumbini.
Yeah, they were chewing the cud, chewing, chewing.
And it's so peaceful laying there in the straw, looking at me happy.
So they were friendly sheep. Yeah. Oh yeah. Very friendly. Yeah, that's really nice.
You also taught me how to knit. So you got the wool from your sheep and made it to yarn and also knitted it.
I had my four boys. So your father, they were obliged to wear my hand knitted sweaters.
They had a little smell of sheep and the boys at school, they were always laughing at them and saying, you're stinky.
And they're really itchy too. Right? They were itchy and stinky, right?
Yeah, that was that was in the 70s.
You know, it was hippie time. And everybody all my friends were living like that. Yeah, why not?
I think they also told me you baked such healthy bread that it was like a brick because they were so full week that it was just.
Oh yeah. Three times a week we were. How do you say that?
Mowing the grain, grinding, grinding the cereal for one whole hour, three times a week, and then I could make three breads and it was full cereal.
So I don't think my children nowadays, they don't like it anymore. The fruit of cereal.
So like you're working all the time. Like what time did you get up in the morning? Well, normally between five and six, that was normal time and at nine o'clock in bed in the evening and working all day, because when you have a sheep and a cow, I had my my cow Flora.
So, yeah, it's a lot of work, but you hardly have to buy anything in store. Yeah. You have bred a sweater and milk, so you have everything we have.
Yeah. I made butter, cheese, yogurt, cream. You have so many things with cow milk, you know, and then the sheep and the meat I guess as well.
And then once a year we had a veal and I had three pigs.
Because when you have sheep and cow and you make cheese, you have lots of way. When you make when you have 200 litres of milk, you have 20 liters of cheese and 180 litres of way. But you can't throw in the NHL because it's polluting. So my I had pigs and the pigs were eating were drinking this with cereal in it.
Oh, that's a nice healthy breakfast for the pig. And so we had a veal and the pig every year. We are really not vegetarian.
So you had all the meat from them. Did you also tanned the hides. Yeah. Oh yeah.
Oh yeah. You remember you asked me some years ago you wanted to tender skin. You cannot hide. Oh but you never did. No, it's too much work. I'm lucky. You know, it's very smelling that we did. Oh yeah.
We did a lot of tanning, you know. How do you. Yeah. Yeah. And it was a very beginning is really horrible. But then when the skin is drying then you have the nice work with the talk powder and talks tone. I don't know how you called it. It's like lava, like lava stone to make it very Suvla.
Yeah. Oh yeah. And I made I was cutting big squares of every skin when it was done because I wanted to make a big, big carpet.
And every time my friends came from Holland and said, oh that looks nice. And I gave them a little square, you know, like to make a little mats in front of the bed. So you never had a big carpet ever made my carpet. What happens after the sheep farm then?
I had to work because with my sheep farm, we just could live, you know. So I found a job in the upper management close to garden and Niece and TEEB the catoosa that's in it was in the mountains and that's where the guy lived was where and wearing no shoes.
We look at me, we were working there, my new friend Luke. After that moment we made a farm there in the mountains. You could not come with a car there. You only could for fifteen minutes. You had to climb in the Majia to leave your garden down and it was a wonderful place.
Wonderful, wonderful. Yeah.
A best guess if you know what that guy, he was a director of observatory and he was completely crazy.
He was so very biologic. It'll be too much wear, walking bare feet, going to his work on the horse.
His wife was a she had a little dose of a little car, typical little French car.
And she was not allowed to use it.
Her husband was very severe, but she did it because it's like bad for the environment.
Yeah, he was he was a little bit too much.
He was from Paris, you know, and then back to nature. So yeah. Like one hundred percent back to nature. So no shoes because it crushes the insect and no fridge. Right. You build like an underground ice fridge or something.
Yeah, we only had solar energy and it was in the eighties, so it was really the beginning here and pretty innovative.
And so we look at me, we made a fridge with opening on the north side and very insolated on the inside, but not insulated. It's on the outside. So that was, it worked really well and it was underground.
It is not on the ground, it was against a hill and there was no wall. We had to go every day to a source in the mountains with the horse and take 40 litres of water.
The family was three people and Luke and me. So we were five people to live with 40 litres of water. We learned really how to how to manage.
Yeah, you better be efficient, I guess. Yeah. Yeah. And not showering every day. Yeah, obviously.
Well, you wouldn't be happy if you were clean all the time so.
When we were taking a shower I did put my dirty clothes on the my feet.
I was standing on my dirty clothes and so the loss of two birds with one stone kind of thing.
When I washed the salads that water was used to do the dish washing.
But I'm not washing the salads in the shower. I would be too much. And how long did you stay there?
I stayed there a whole year. I wanted to see the Four Seasons to two to go with the Four Seasons there in the mountains. And after some months already I understood that I missed the trees a lot.
We were living above the above the tree line, above the tree line.
And I didn't know that before, you know, because, yeah, where I live, there's so many trees in Rylander, so I want to go back.
Look, stage two more years there. Wow. I want to go back to my farm and my sheep because somebody else was taking care of everything. OK, so when I came back, I just could go on with my things.
But the interesting experience for me to live in the mountains with very few things and only solar energy, but he was he made an invention for the naza, the guy my let's say my most of the people where we worked. And he was very close, said, how do you go that three. Yeah, really smart.
But he admired me so much because I could spin. I had this spinning wheel.
Hey, it's a skill. It was full of admiration and he learned a lot. Me, I must say, you learned a lot of us how doing things organically and ecologically because he was from Paris and he was completely crazy. Yeah.
Sometimes they have this idea of what nature is supposed to be like and then they get there and they're like, oh wait.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. But it was such a good experience for that whole year, but I was happy to be back in my own environment again.
And so you basically continued more or less doing farm work until a long time and you are selling your cheese on the market and everything forever?
Yeah, yeah. I was selling my cheese on the market and then I got an accident and I had to stop working with my sheep. I had a big accident with my neck. I couldn't carry I couldn't milk the sheep anymore. I couldn't carry heavy things. So I sold my sheep to one of the guys who helped me, OK? And then I started to grow Bendu.
Oh, yeah. I forgot about, you know, so much about plants as well. Like, OK, why bamboo and in the middle of the south of France is not really the most Asian place, but.
Oh well it seems that in the little glacial. How do you I say, yeah, there was bamboo in where I live.
Oh I didn't know that there were moments and there was bamboo.
Why not call it the big chill or the NIPPE? I'm just saying, how do we know it's a nice change because of all the ice?
Yeah, I met I met a guy who came to redo my roof and finally he asked me if I wanted to grow bamboo with him. So I did bamboo for I think seven years. We were growing bamboo for decoration in gardens.
And so, like all the knowledge you have about plants, because like if I go in the forest or walk with you, you will know all the plant names, all their Latin names, what they do.
You just picked it up from like experience or how did you learn all that?
Yeah, experience and interesting.
I was interested in it, but I don't know all the plants, you know a lot of plants and I still love plants, I still love them.
And I try to me, I was very interested. So I tried to tell her I little.
Yeah, yeah. And also like while you were doing the sheep and everything, you also had your own vegetable garden, which was like huge and and an orchid orchard as well. Right. Yeah. Yeah.
So just so yeah we. And now yeah.
Every year now my garden gets smaller and smaller because I'm seventy seven now. Seventy eight. Yes.
I mean did you had a birthday during our technical difficulties. Yeah. Yeah. Happy belated birthday.
We can celebrate when I come and visit next time. Yeah.
Now I have my vegetable garden in wine barrels. Yeah. The soil is very low you know.
Yeah. You can't bend over so much lately.
I was showing broad beans and I had three barrels full of broad beans and two days later I saw holes. Not any brugman anymore. There are lots of crap Krauze you say. Oh crows. Crows.
Yeah the oh oh oh the bastards. Nothing anymore.
I bet you were getting ready to make like a big soup and stuff, but then they stole all your beans.
Now, it had to grow, you know, when you when you saw them in November, you will have them very early in the spring.
And when you started out with all of this gardening and stuff like I guess when you moved to France, you didn't really know anything about. Getting so you just asked people and tried it out or what? Well, in the village where we where we lived, we had such nice neighbors, they were so nice and they taught me a lot.
When I lived in Holland, I couldn't even hold a frozen chicken out of the store in my hands. I hated it. And then I came in France and then my neighbors invited us to go on the killing of the pig.
Which village thing? You know, all the neighbors help. So we had to come to and it was eight o'clock in the morning. They gave me in the intestines of the pig. The smoke was still coming off the war and I had to take all the fat out of it. Oh, and I didn't want to show that I. Oh, I was terrified.
That was beginning. Yeah. Everything to make. But stay and put down and everything. They they told me really everything. So you used the entire pig I guess. Oh yeah.
Go to table. You can use everything. Yeah. Even the nose and the feet and everything. Yeah.
I still don't eat the food but the people who love it, there's always someone who likes the weird, the weird part of the animal at the Christmas dinner or something.
And when did you start traveling because you've been how many countries have you been to. You've been all around the world.
No, no, no. Not all around more than me. It's because of Luke's children. He has one of his children who is a mathematics teacher and he works in French schools around the world. So we went to the Philippines to visit them. And then we we went back five times to the Philippines even when they were not there anymore. I really love the Philippines or the islands. You have to leave Manila very quickly. But then the islands are so nice and the people are so nice in the Philippines, so friendly.
And then they move to India. So we went to New Delhi and we took the train there and went to adjust. And we we visited had just done. Then all of a sudden they were in Chile. So we went and yeah. More countries. Yeah. Yeah. That was really nice to do. But we only stayed like two nights at their place and then we went visiting and we were. It's a good excuse. So what has been your favorite trip and or favorite country.
The Philippines. Yeah. You love it there. I remember I even went back when I sold my house three years ago. I wanted to go back on my own to to Ireland. I never had the money to go. That was a little bit more sophisticated. And so I paid myself that trip to Palawan school and I was in a little resort. You know, it's so it's not it's not luxury at all. But you can you have your breakfast on the beach resorts.
It has only thirteen rooms. You have your breakfast on the beach is three metres from the from the resort. You know, the sea.
It's you're going to make a lot of people jealous right now who are all the people who are locked in their house and can't travel or just dreaming about the beach and the resorts.
It's so nice. And then at five o'clock, the fishermen come back and you eat the fish. In the evening, the fish, they were fishing. It was great.
Oh, that's good that you could do that. It was a good celebration for selling your house.
Yeah, it was three weeks there and people do more island hopping there. Do you say that like that island helping because there's so many islands in the Philippines. But I stayed three weeks under the coconut tree, lots of books. There was no internet, no radio. No television. Oh, completely. Yeah.
In another world. That sounds good. I would I would do that right now.
I really love this and I thought this is a good experience. It will cost me a little bit more money, but it's so very cheap you can't imagine.
Fifty cents for a meal and three euros a day for a room.
And the prices are not of this time. So it's just the flight there and getting there. It is expensive. Yeah, that makes sense. So talking about like Internet and TV and all that, I wanted to talk a little bit about how things were back in the day, especially, you know, on your farm.
I assume you didn't have Internet, obviously TV. I think also not.
Yeah, we were playing doing games with the children. We had no TV for a long time and. Yeah, then they get. And yeah, old friends have TV, so we have to buy a TV and but we did other things. Well, you put them to work, I assume, most of the time.
And the hope they were at school. Yeah, I was going to ask, like, what's the biggest difference that you noticed from, like, these days from when you were growing up or like my age?
Well, we had no mobile. That's a big, big difference, because now you can't you can't even say hello to people when you are in the city because everybody's talking to the mobile.
But it's good because we can communicate also like this. Yeah, it's another way of communicating.
Yeah. Yeah. The difference, I don't know, I, I just go with my time, you know, I can't say that it was better or less better.
You go with your you live with your time.
You're pretty modern, you know, you text me, you figured out how to use Zoom eventually. So yeah. You keep updating.
And what about like cars because you were talking about the Dutrow, but even before that, I guess it was pretty recorrect. I mean, you guys had that motorbike back in the day that was always breaking down.
Yeah. Yeah. We always had old cars. And your father and your uncle, my sons, they were always repairing my old cars.
So that's why nowadays they don't want to do that anymore. They have good cars. And then Neel's left the house. He offered me he bought me a new car, little new car, because he said, Mom, I will not be there anymore. Take care of your Gurche.
That's really sweet. Another question I had is you got divorced like pretty early. Like nowadays it's super normal. I think like fifty percent of marriages get divorce.
Was it like a different point of view back in the day? Was it badly seen or you didn't really care?
I could not tell my parents, you know. Yeah. Because it was badly seen. It's true.
And your parents were really religious, right? Yeah, very religious.
And then Christmas arrived and my parents invited us and then I had to tell them I will come on my own. And they started crying. And every Saturday they came to my house with food because I had no money either.
When I divorced with my last money, I had to buy a car because we were living in a country already in Ireland. So I was 10 kilometers from the city and the bus went twice today in the morning, very early on in the evening, very late. So I needed a car there. I had my two little children. And so my parents, well, they accepted it very well. My father only said, I told you when your marriage gets.
Yeah, I think that's a fair thing to say. That was not good. I will never tell that to my children. But my children don't divorce, so that's OK.
Yeah. Thankfully so much better because it's really it's so it's very it's very sad for everyone, I'm sure.
Another question is now you live in France and you're very well integrated into into the village and everyone knows you and thinks that you're French and one of them, which is not easy in that region.
I would no, I think it was because I was doing I was working like the people in village.
Yeah. Really hard and not thinking you're better than them or whatever, doing agriculture work. So I think that was very well accepted, even straight from the beginning.
Yeah, straight from the beginning.
It's I really thank my the neighbors I had in Villa in the little village. They were so nice and we were the first foreigners in the village. They almost touched my arms. You know, to feel well is what it was like to be far enough.
Oh my God.
People were so curious, but it was in a way, it was good. They came the whole village came to see us to that to the house because, yeah, we were five adults living all together.
That is pretty weird. Bad thoughts.
So we became friends with the whole village. It was incredible. Incredible.
They were so nice when we arrived there it was in 74, one neighbor.
I talk about a neighbor, but he was like three kilometers farther away. He came with a big basket full of.
Yeah, strange fruits that I. I never saw fresh figs in Holland.
Oh, peppers, things of the garden, lots of tomatoes. And he said, yeah.
You have nothing and we have so much so he gave it, then another neighbor came with the rabbit, a female rabbit who had babies in the belly. You said, yeah, this is too starts.
Well, that's so nice. Oh, we were so surprised. It was really it was such a good surprise. They were so nice to us. And I lived there for almost six years in that village. And yeah, everybody was friendly all the time. Even they must have thought that we were strange people. Yeah, probably.
They were so nice to us. And then we moved and Jim Jim and Niels were already 14 and 16 when we moved. And that was so hard because we came in a region where I live now. But it's really hard. People didn't even look at us when when we went to school to have coffee. They didn't even serve us.
Yeah, that's what I'm more used to than your other stories. So it was completely strange. We thought it was everywhere. It was like in my first village.
But that's not really lucky. People are really close off to strangers, whether it be someone from the city an hour away or the next country. That's like I mean, Holland is not that far. It's a day drive from the south of France. But for them, I guess anyone who's not from their's is so, yeah, that was my second experience, 40 years. And in the beginning, people were, as I told you, not nice niceto.
There was a group from Paris and they did not accept other people. But then kind of ironic. Yeah.
But with the years became very nice, there were more people coming and is very nice now. It's really my village. But in the beginning it was not nice at all. It was a closed village, you know, like so many villages and things in the country. Yeah.
Like like where I grew up as well.
It took like I don't know, 12 years for people to start, like, stop calling us the Americans. Actually, they probably still call us that.
I don't I like this kind of like rivalry between the towns.
And those guys are bad. But the other thing is. Yeah, I enjoyed that.
You said that you never saw fresh figs before, which like sounds crazy to me now, but makes sense like figs. Even nowadays it's hard to get fresh figs.
Like I don't get them in New York because they don't they don't ship.
I mean, I would get them, but I would pay like a hundred bucks. I don't come back to you. I have this big thing at home.
But so what was like other stuff like that that in Holland, you know, I guess you guys had potatoes and cabbages, but not other things.
Like eggplants and all those things in Holland. No, it was leek and cabbage. Potatoes. Yeah.
They're not known for their great culinary achievements but they never heard talking about pea soup. Now Schnitz. It's good is the best. I'd love that I should make. I make it here in the winter. I make it for my French friends.
Everybody loves it. It's so good and the spoon has to stand up straight in it. If not, it's not.
Yeah, you almost have to cut it with a fork in the knife.
Three. You were talking about your nearby towns and this is probably like a leap into the future in the timeline. But your friends with the late Diana Rigg. Yeah. Who was in your village.
So a little bit of star talk. She was the most notably on Game of Thrones, at least for my generation.
For your generation, she was in shape the the revenge of the Avengers and and James Bond, right?
Yeah. Once she died in a James Bond movie. Yeah.
So you how did you meet her?
Well, sometimes a year we have those. Yeah, this is a bad year, but normally we have meals in the in the in the side of the Fed. How do you call that. Yeah.
Like a village party with a big fat feast. Yes I know. And it happens quite often here. I yeah.
There's nothing else to do so and it's very funny.
And then Diana was invited to and I was the only one who was speaking English.
They put me next to that because she has like a vacation or she had like a vacation house in your village.
Yeah, a little castle. Yeah. It's called Chateau Bearhug. And together we empty the bottle of wine.
Next week we go to dig friends at the end.
And then we every time she came to her house, she gave me a call and replied Scrabble together. We had a meal together. Yeah, that's nice. And then later I met her daughter, who is an actress to Rachael Stirling. She's she looks like her mother and her mother was young. And Rachael Stirling, her daughter, is married to a guy from the group Elbo of Manchester.
Yeah, I remember that had such a funny name. I was telling them that I have been a singer too, in my life for some years, but I did not know that he was so famous.
I really didn't know.
I thought, oh, he's like me. He was singing a bit, you know, he's very famous. Then I forgot you were in the band.
When was that?
Oh, that was when I was eighteen. That's how I met my grandpa because he was playing the guitar in the group.
Yeah, he still does a little bit.
I remember, although that was way later that your doctor said you could have been an opera singer because you have like really big lungs, but instead you're just not really loud.
But you sing really well, still probably in the shower or something.
Yeah. Oh no.
Sometimes I'm singing here in my house because. Some nice accoustic as a good Icaria, once I was singing and doing as if I was on the scene and all of a sudden somebody was looking at me.
Yeah, that's the problem.
When you live in the middle of nowhere, people just like walk into your house like look in the windows. Yeah. You never know what's going to happen.
You also worked on the vineyards, I think. Oh, you didn't have your own vineyards, right?
No, I did. Five years of all the seasonal works. So harvest grapes, telomerase, sauteing corn. Yeah. Why do you sort corn in this region?
They they grow the corn for showing in the whole Europe when the corn has been harvested, it goes on to people.
How do you feel that I forgot what it's called, the thing that you have at the supermarket and it rolls out the rolling carpet, but this is not what it's called.
OK, but, you know, they go on a rolling carpet and you have to stand there looking. If they're in the yellow corn, if there's a red seed or black seed, you have to take them out to be perfect for the showing in Europe. So that was really bad work. You know, I'm not made to work on that. Some people know your outside person.
And so that's what I did to the harvesting was quite OK, harvesting grapes.
So you had to go for people who don't know, you have to pick the grapes by hand or a lot of people still do it by hand because it's better.
And you don't get like leaves and twigs inside the grapes to make wine is in the big the big names, you know, Chateau Margaux and all these very good wines. They pick their harvest by hand. You have to cut it. You cut you cut the whole bunch of grapes and then you have a basket on your back and you throw throw me back.
No, you have a bucket next to you. And somebody is walking through the vineyard with a big, heavy thing on his back. It's always men and you have to empty your buckets in that thing.
Oh, that's that's nuts. So did you learn a lot about wine? I mean, I know you learn a lot from drinking the wine, but also from picking it. Right.
Well, I know now how how wine is made. Yeah. Yeah. And now actually how Armagnac is made to live on in Armagnac making property. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
You have so many skills, you need to write a book and pass on all the skills that. Yeah.
If you would like to do that for me, I can tell you my stories and you're right. Well I read more stories. That's the first step. Yeah. This is so nice what you are doing. It's so interesting because I listen to to the thing due to the other podcast and it's interesting and funny.
Oh good. Who, who did you listen to.
I listen to the female guy that did drag. Great. Yeah. That's one of my favorite ones.
And Opie and the lady before the first one. And the first one with Edna. Yeah. Edna. Yeah. Who is the The New Yorker for me.
And like, you know, we don't understand why why would you not have Internet?
I mean, actually when I was a kid we didn't have Internet, but, you know. Yeah. And, you know, when I came to France, I had no telephone for some years. I didn't want to telephone because with my children's farm, we had an extra speaker. So when I was in the garden outside, I could hear the phone ring. It was very, very noisy. And the phone rang the whole day because when parents brought their children, they called me very often.
Children stayed week or two weeks. And when I came to France, I didn't want to telephone. That means that in the seventies there was a lady who came three times a week with telegrams.
Oh, really? Yeah. Oh, how do you call the. Yeah, yeah. I didn't know that you used telegrams this crazy. OK, but it wasn't in Morse code at least. Right. What does it mean. You know to to do. No, no no no. It was a small paper. Well I suppose the telegram they did send it like that. And so who telegram you how who how does that work. Where do you go to write a telegram.
Do you have a telegram machine at home or you go to the post office and you tell the lady, I want to send a word to my lover. My dear Georgina, I love you. I love you. I love you. And then the lady at the post office said, My dear Geraldine, I love you. I love you. I love you three times. Yeah, and then she she does the thing like you say, I think it was her fault.
Yeah, yeah. And then the lady, you know, the oldest cafe in Labastida. Yeah, totally. But totally. She had she was doing those things. She broke REM's. It was the same lady. She was same. She's super old. Right. She's over 90 now and the bar is closed and it's one of the oldest cafes of the whole country of France on TV.
When I when I came there in 1980, I wanted to have a coffee there. So I went in to the bistro, I ordered the coffee and she came with a little pen.
She was heating coffee, which was in there since week, I suppose. And I got my cup of coffee and the only thing was an American fridge and it did not change. It's still like the and the coffee is still very bad. The beer, you can only have it in little bottles. You know, they don't have to have those.
So there's a lot of stuff like that in France where they just didn't update.
So and that was the first time I arrived there. That was a big German shepherds who lifted his foot against the contour and did it in the cafe. In the bistro.
Oh, really authentic experience.
So you went there and to get a telegram or to send one. But who was sending you, like, the parents, like, hey, is my kid still alive or what? Well, yeah, sometimes. And my parents did send a message and sometimes I had to send the message when there was no telephone in the village, you had to go to the beach toward your village and do a certain number. But in the bestrode, they had a little cabin and then you did.
I don't I don't remember. It was perhaps you do. Thirty two. And then there's a lady who says, yes, please. And then you have to say, I want to call Holland, please. Can you put me in connection with Holland something.
And then they do like the switchboard, they unplug the thing and then they put it into Holland and probably to get to Holland it takes forever because they never call there and they're very confused and.
Yeah, yeah. And then later, after waiting a long time, she says you can talk.
Well, I remember my neighbors got a telephone that those neighbors who taught me everything and I still remember seeing the lady sitting there with the telephone in her hand not knowing how to do and where to talk. Yeah, well, which side she had to.
And how did you pay when you're in the beast? How did you, like, put quarters in the machine or not even. No, no, no.
I had to to to pay where you buy your glass.
How much did it cost to put a long distance call.
Oh, I don't remember. I really don't remember that.
Was it like a lot of money for you at the time? I suppose so, yeah. I really I, I think it was quite expensive. Yeah. Yeah. I assume you don't do it every day or something.
When the when was the first time you took a plane.
Oh. That's a big question. I think the first time I took a plane was when I went to see your parents in Florida because when I went to Holland, I always took the night train.
Yeah, yeah. You could sleep on the bunks and you wake up and you're there at midnight.
I took the train in ducks and at six o'clock I arrived in Paris in God, you know, where I had the best questions.
And then at 12 o'clock, I could take the train to where where my parents live in Braider. You could probably still do that.
Yeah, it's the same time I'll do that, I suppose. But yeah, the first time I took a plane, I suppose it was to go to Florida.
Why are they still smoking in the planes. Yeah, and there was a bar in the back of the building.
What you could help yourself as many times as you wanted. That's not fair. I always took a Bloody Mary in the plane. I'm jealous now. I wish I didn't know that. Now I'm always going to think like, oh, back when we hit a bar.
Yeah, I think people some people abused it, so they took it away. And you could smoke. Yes, you could smoke. Yeah. So was it weird taking a plane or you were just like excited.
Oh no. It was exciting. Yeah. And you had to dress up really nice. Right, to go on a plane. Yeah.
That's what people did in those days. But I was already thinking, no, it just has to be comfortable when I take a plane was a long flight.
But it's true that people dress. Yeah. To take the plane.
What was it like going to America for the first time? Completely.
For me it was another world and oh I have such good memories. Well, it was so funny to be there because your mom was working. Yeah, she was a firefighter. She showed me where the bus was. I took the bus to go to the beach. It was very exciting for me. Your dad was working. Your mom was working. And I spend lots of times well, I loved. It's a library. You couldn't you. I could spend a whole day there.
You could see you had magazines, you had books. You had a salon where you could sit.
Barnes and Noble. Yes. Barnes, yes. I love birds. Oh, me too.
I loved it. I could spend the whole day sometimes. Your mom dropped me there and she picked me up after working or your father picked me up.
They're like, oh, grandma. Just sitting at the Barnes Noble all day.
I loved it, really. It was so interesting. And I learned about how people live in the States. Yeah. Did you have, like, culture shock? It is different today. What was some, like, weird stuff that you noticed that like Americans do or or.
Well, we do good stuff for different people. They don't take time to eat. I still remember your mom sitting on the on the corner of the table with a telephone in her hand and eating well. I mean, there's that.
And then the other extreme is France, where, you know, if I go to your house for lunch at 12:00, we maybe come back at six or seven. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Because it's just you chat and there's like lots of courses, blah, blah, blah.
And so, yeah, it's the two extremes. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
It's completely different. But the nice thing, the nice thing with American people is when I was at the beach I was on my own. Somebody walks by and they always are ready to have a little talk. Yeah, I like it. I like kids. It might be superficial but it's nice that people don't walk by without saying anything.
Yeah, some more Nordic Nordic countries in Europe. It's not really well seen to do small shit because people just don't want to talk to other people. But it is kind of nice in the States sometimes they were a little bit too nice.
Sometimes the men came by and they invited me to his house.
Well, that's straightforward. I was young then, you know, I did not go.
I'm not going to judge you. You like this day. It's not like you've been back a few times to visit some other places.
I think you went to New York. I went to New York twice. I like New York. Well, we went to Minnesota several times. And Luke and me, we went to see the heads of the president's Mount Rushmore.
That was one of really I heard that like it wasn't that impressive. Oh, but well, we were there on the first of January and the weather was beautiful. And we were there at twelve o'clock and the sun was on the faces and expression on the faces changed when the show changed her place.
It was really impressing. I think we were there at the good moments. Yeah, I thought it was really beautiful.
I hope Trunkful will not be next to the fourth, but usually I don't talk about. But yes, I agree with you. Well, my final question is always, what is your advice for my generation? Well, I know to take care of yourself and and pay attention to the world where we live in, that's really important.
Like take care of the environment, you mean? Yeah, it's really important. And, yeah, love each other. It's very peace and love.
It's a good end of the end of the cycle. We went from the happy stories to the fact that that's good.
Take care of yourself and the planet. I think that's a good ending.
So everybody, now you've met my grandma and my grandpa, I hope you really enjoyed it and you may have noticed that we put out a new trailer thanks to a friend who is 10 South sounds on Instagram. I love it. So I hope you like that. And if you want to know more, there is a new episode on every 14th of the month and there's details and pictures of the guests on the website. So you can kind of have an image with the sound.
Otherwise, I may take a vacation soon. I may not because, you know, times are weird, but I hope everyone stays warm and eats a great Christmas dinner, whether it be made of meat or cheese or vegetables that you grew all on your own. Happy holidays, everybody. De de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de.