Documentary about Jean Guillemet

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Jean Guillemet talks about the countryside

This is a 58-minute documentary built from 22 hours of recording. L’Espérance de Vie was screened in three local cinemas – in Josselin Locminé and Grand Champ.

It concerns Jean Guillemet a well-known amateur cyclist born in Josselin, and at the age of 76, shares his views on the changes in society since the Land Consolidation and the departure of people to the city. His entourage echo his views on why shops and schools no longer exist in their countryside. Life was simpler, but harder, he says.

Jean depicts his vision of simpler personal relationships , people were more in direct contact, more open, and encourages us to reflect on his maxim, “It’s motivation that counts”.

The Simple Things in Life

Over two years, we were invited to numerous places and events. These included the traditional well that he was building, his cabin in the woods, a party with his cycling club, a visit to a menhir with four generations, the oldest of which a 96-year-old lady. He built the well as a symbol of a simpler past, his near-death experience and as a testament to Noémie, who may have saved his life in hospital.

Nevertheless, he depicts a harsh countryside where people walked three kilometres to school, across the fields, lived in isolated houses, washed their laundry at the lavoir and went to fetch bread baked in a village communal oven.

Dependency on modern networks

He asks whether life is better now that we are dependent on networks such as electricity and water. “We had little money, but we didn’t need it,” he says. “We had very little, but we didn’t face the temptations of today”.

Jean Guillemet does not really suggest a return to the past, but he questions the logic of practices today. Overproduction made him react. “At one point we had too much [crop], we put diesel fuel on it, and burned everything.” Enough to ask a few questions in a world where so many still lack food.

A well-known competitive cyclist

His friends describe Jean’s physical endurance and strength as an avid cyclist , and was clearly a passionate cyclist and won so many races often riding only a very simple bike. He even cycled to Germany and Hungary, and tells us in his enigmatic way, that it is “not the bike that counts, but the person”. He recounts his accident when a car he was repairing collapsed on his head, and yet he recovered. This experience has some kind of spiritual element and his relationship with [his granddaughter?] Noémie.

Documentary edit for Jean Guillemet
Jean Guillemet talks about overproduction

Full of life, his friends and acquaintances share with us. They describe their admiration for Jean who describes the power of willpower, desire, persistence and character. He says, “If you really want something, you can do it.”

Jean Guillemet wants to pass on his message to a new generation. He recognizes improvements in quality of life, while recalling that it has not always been so, that some have done with little, and despite the difficulties, found joy and happiness in simple things, starting with laughter and human sharing.

Understanding the themes of a documentary

This documentary was a challenge for us. We filmed on different cameras, including two iPhones and 2 DV cameras. This was 2012.

We recorded 22 hours of film without a script, in various locations. But to complete the montage, we sifted through the footage, attributing subject and meaning in order to construct a reasonable chronology.

As Jean Guillemet would say: “You can do it if you want.” Perhaps even if the quality of the final product is less than industry-perfect. It would be nice to have had access to large cameras and better sound recording. But despite this, Jean Guillemet invites us to reflect on the quality of life and some of our fundamental values.

These themes have been sources of reflection and remain contemporary in a constantly changing world. It is unwise to romanticize a physically uncomfortable past, but we are invited to think about the present, to analyse today’s society, our values, and perhaps to distinguish what is important from what is not.

Lessons for society

Jean Guillemet addresses many themes including society, ecology, the passage of time, consumer society, industrial progress against a simpler life gone by. But there remains a sense of regret that such rural communities broke up, even if those who left were in search of a better life.

This film has a Breton theme, the changes in society and technology that happened there much later than in the big cities.

And perhaps it invites us to reflect on the future. How will things evolve in the next fifty years, and how will our values change? Are our relationships improving, are we building bridges in the community, or are people increasingly distant? What are the values that we cherish the most, and in what will we invest to develop society?

Transcript of the film dialogue

His cabin in the woods

I built this after my accident in 1999, to show my grandchildren, the world, that we can always do something, that is to say, help yourself, and heaven will help you. That’s kind of my philosophy, I tell you, I could bring those guys who smoke here, in eight days, they would stop.

Ambition

Life is about getting on with your neighbours, with everyone, but not to look for the impossible.

The more ambition we have, today, the more difficulties we have, inevitably. Those who don’t have too much ambition are happy. You have to move forward in life, but without stepping on others. You have to find your place, but you have to find a happy medium.

Consumer Society

“Consumption pushes us to buy things that we do not use. The people who can’t keep up will change bikes. Some might say It’s because of my bike,” I say, it’s not your bike. There are gifted people, weak, strong everywhere. It’s not just in the biking world. Anyone who thinks that he can’t do it, should stay at home. I tell him not to come”.

It’s like a positive system. Despite all the divorces now, some people stay together all their lives. That might seem like a step backwards in today’s society. And yet, I would like to show this to young people, schoolchildren. It will give them not hope, but a little happiness, perhaps.

Often people take me for someone abnormal. Young people should be taught to obey first. A kid who disobeys doesn’t have a clear conscience. It’s up to us to teach them. If we don’t teach them…

I see that Sarkozy wants to reduce the number of teachers, we should be cutting getting rid of the gendarmerie, not in education. With more guys like me, there would be no more need for gendarmes, or prison.

There were raves here in the woods. There were little children and well, all the cars stopped to let the bikes and the kids pass. That’s good! Although everyone grumbles about ravers.

Attitude towards others

I met the Chief of Newport Police, one metre fifty, and a psychiatric nurse visiting here. The day the doctor came here with the Newport police chief we went o see a house over there. The windows were missing, it was empty. I had put some logs out to make a fire. The chief of police said, “It’s odd, they didn’t break anything here? Is this vandalism?” They had taken some bikes, and then had left them on the path up there. He said to me, “You’re not afraid of thieves or anything”? I say, “I’m not afraid of anything. I say ravers, when they see me pass, they move aside, they’re polite [laughs] Once they took my tripod, then the big pot, and maybe a bottle of red but they left them there. It didn’t bother me. It won’t ruin anyone. I found the frying pan, the tripod and the pot. If they had found the cellar, they wouldn’t have taken the pot!

“If anyone comes up to bother him,” [Ivan says] “he’ll turn the situation around and will help the person. He [Jean] might give the person something and they’d be happy. The person will just go off without a problem.”

Education

People lack of freedom perhaps in the cities, with the high concentration of people. [Talking about kids at school] It is because they were neglected in schools. They were kicked out the door. The common thread of education broke down quite early in their teens and in the end they are left to their own devices. They choose the wrong path – because we didn’t educate them.

We should have more teachers and fewer students with each teacher.

Values

The main thing is you should be honest. You have to be honest, you mustn’t steal from your parents, because kids can steal from their parents, their neighbours. They shouldn’t burn other people’s cars.

[As an example] A farmer’s kid is at home during the school holidays. He goes to work in town during the school holidays; otherwise he would mess with the parents, or they might put him in a holiday camp. Otherwise he would be all alone, that’s it.

Growing up in the countryside

“We were a big family, eleven children, I think. And they lived like all of us. Me, I’m from the countryside, too, we lived very simply. It changed so much in the fifties, after the war.

When I was born, like Jean, we had neither electricity, nor the water network. After that… came the equipment, especially in the countryside. We worked with horses, oxen. Once the tractor arrived, it was modernization. It happened really fast. Going to school, for example, we had to do four or five kilometres on foot, with my wife. There was no bus, so we just went. We had to go to Mass on Sundays, we went to communion. We didn’t even have lunch, we went on an empty stomach. There is no going back, now that we have modernity. Television now gives us a lot of information, not only about France, but about the whole world.

Young people have a lot to ponder there. They want everything. They want money, happiness, they want…

Democracy

People don’t vote the same way. I never say who I vote for. I would have voted twice rather than none. I vote in every election, but I would never say that one person is better than another. Never! I was a shop steward at a hospital. I spent two days on Berder Island, in a meeting for the hospital.

I was a staff representative. The staff had to elect their delegates. It looked as if I was going to win, but there was one vote missing. The director realized a vote was missing, and said, “Mr Guillemet, aren’t you going to vote?” I said, it’s not up to me to choose myself. I will never vote for myself, it is up to others to choose what they want. Well, he says, you have been elected as staff representative.
You shouldn’t vote for yourself. The President of the Republic should not vote for himself. Its logic.

They believe they are masters of all and the ones with the knowledge.

They are elected to do what we want, but they actually do what will keep them where they are. Because they are self-seeking at the end of the day.

I think some are in it for personal power, because they came from a noble family.

Doesn’t the freedom of one end at the limit of another’s freedom? Yes, that’s why society cannot be a truly free thing. You’ve got to give up something.

Public authority

It has become so much part of their customs, they believe they have power for life, even from generation to generation. We say that countries are very poor and people are very rich: those who are in charge. These are people so attracted to power and the largesse of power, yes, but for themselves.

Competitive Cyclist

I first met Jean in the hospital when he was in charge of maintenance, the distribution of meals in the wards. As I liked cycling, not competitively, but he was a fanatic.
I heard his memories of when he ran with Jacques Empilait, Raymond Poullidor and others.

“I was with Morio, but he was walking.”

Yes, Jean-Claude, yes, there was Gugen Morvan from Lorient, Ehm, Merthier, Germain Et puis l’autre, Go from Combourg and Dafnette from Morlaix, I did Stella, I did the Birs 33 and Terreaux. Étienne de Clanche was with me. He burned, I heard, I waited for him, we left off in front of you and I got ahead of him without realizing it.
The Normandy Tour on your eighteenth birthday? Yes, I was not eighteen yet, because the lily of the valley was out, it was in May. May Day. At forty-four, I won Missilac but, in the meantime.
You went out of circulation? Yes, I always worked, we had to, I had a big family and we had no money.

Cycling

There are fewer and fewer volunteers… It’s hard to get volunteers, huh? – People are dropping out. Don’t you think? I do. When you realize that they spend more money after the finish than for the runners. Did you see how much it costs in Guingamps? The meal afterwards, for all the volunteers? It costs more than the race itself. People are demoralized, disgusted. Why do so much advertising when it costs more than the race? It means that the price of meals and the like – it’s too expensive.
Without a partner, you can’t afford to do a federal race like the Boucles de Guégan, Manche Atlantique or Le circuit du Morbihan. This means that you must have partners, from the General Council and private partners who will give a hand so that this race continues. And it’s not too bad for them either because the money they will give, they get this money back through local advertising, newspapers, TV. Talking about advertising: the guy who’s there, gets talked about. We forget the one who isn’t there.

The bike racing party

Here’s my farm worker! Ah! He has his heart in his hand.

They’re all very inclusive and…

You see here, we play boules ah, it’s a bowling alley? Yes, I see, the first balls have arrived 🙂 [accordion music]

Because he’s an alien to me, he never drinks [water]. When we rode with him, he ran on foot at the side of the road to pick mushrooms. It’s crazy, though? [:-)] And he didn’t ask think twice about it. He, he doesn’t have a water bottle, an old bike, he even rode a woman’s bike, remember? [A bike with a V frame]

He had an accident and got hurt in his neck I think.

Jean followed us on a woman’s bike. How many kilometres did you ride with Jean? I’d say thousands of kilometres. I don’t know how many. Its thousands of kilometres. He doesn’t even need water. He doesn’t need anything, he has his health, what. It’s as thin as a wire, huh? He wanted to say it, but he raced with professionals, Poulidor on the climb.

He had made a second at the half-moon in Pontivy, it was a great run. Jean is someone great with whom [inaudible]

It’s an atypical site, isn’t it? Special, original. Two people came here. I spent the afternoon with them almost, I told him where there were the two menhirs. I told Pierre this would be a great place to make a film.

On our return, on the 26th of May 2012, we mark our presence in this wonderful site…

Look no further, I may have found someone to make a film. Three four days later, I get a phone call – No! You! OK!

Making a film

I found Mr Guillemet on a bike.

But he didn’t say a movie about this and that. Yes, I trust the filmmaker.

Like in a funnel me. You don’t know I died, I’ve been into the funnel. You wanted to fix an engine…?

Accidents

That was the first accident, the one I remember more. He had put it on jacks: he had probably badly chocked the wheels. The jacks slipped and the car collapsed on him. He really had to be strong to resist, especially his skull, because the car fell on it. He had to be stuck under the car, he had incredible strength. Firefighters pulled him out of there and took him to the emergency room at Plouharnel hospital.

They treated me [how?] in Plouharmel and then, direction Pont Chailloux. I arrived at Pont Chailloux, two doctors were waiting for me. And from the damage observed on the X-ray… He says your operation will tonight, in fact, tomorrow morning at two o’clock. Were you conscious? Yes They transferred him to Rennes where he spent a good month, half the time in a coma practically.
So finally I am told we cannot operate on you and I stayed fifteen days in Pont Chailloux without an operation. Without operation, without anything.

Then I said to the little girl, if you come Noémie, I will put the fountain in your name. So the girl, she comes to see me with her two kids, Noémie. Look, this is the fountain I’m making in her name. Noémie’s [mum said?], “If you want to pee, there is a loo in the next room, next to Pepe’s bed.” I heard that. As I had fire in my body, in the night, I thought there’s water there. As a result, I managed to shoot two three flushes all over my body, everywhere cold [a bell sounds].

Ah, Mr Guillemet, you don’t hear the bells? The bells, it’s odd but for half a day he heard bells a sound, dong-dong. And that he was the only one who could hear them. He told the doctor and his neighbour.

The fire started in my body, I don’t know how. His previous psyche, finally his… I don’t know if he was a believer. I said, you here? Ah! He said [the doctor said? The sound] it’s coming from the lower chapel, the chaplain must have forgotten to turn off the bells. Because here, there are only believers, he said, in these small communities. Everyone paid the priest to say mass, and he had forgotten to turn off the bells…

Before, the voices resonated around the menhirs. That’s why I’d like it [bells as a music] because when I came back to myself, I heard bells [music].

Noémie’s Fountain

So, it rose recently ? Yes, I’m building it higher up now, the source is higher now because of the rain.

-It gives much less water, but for me, it is higher.
-Did you figure it out with your pendulum?

– Yes, I can find water even without a pendulum. You see, with a piece of string. It [the pendulum] will turn the other way, see here. So what does that mean? It means that there are two water sources, one that comes from there, the other from there, they cross over. But it is deep under ground, eight metres down.
Can I do that too? He said it turns in the opposite direction here? That’s right, what he says is true, it turns with you.

– Well, the springs are 3 m deep. It doesn’t work, huh? Take a good look at the thread. You will see that when there is water, the line will jiggle a little. I’m a magnetist now. When I retire, I will be a magnetist. It’s work, huh?

-I found axes in there. I found everything, a stone cross.
-I will put her name on the entrance to the fountain .
-ah, what a star [Noémie will be]! Well, I went to see the fountain… because I named it Noémie 2004.

I told her Noémie that this film [and perhaps her] might go all around the world. If it’s a great film, why not? As I tell you, you are the strongest of the strongest for having followed your idea with Noémie. [Jean to Noémie] I tell you, I’m going to make the fountain for you.
And I told her that maybe the fountain will go all around the world, jokingly. And you can write that your philosopher grandad found you a fountain.

Living simply

This is my dream often, I’ve said it. I have a house like many others, but I would like to live, it’s funny, in a room with my fireplace, a table, and the bed next to it. It’s my dream, yes, but I will not succeed. – Like back in the day?

– Yes, Le Compte sold their farm, all that, they were basically sharecroppers on the farms. And my grandparents had bought everything from them Kermaro, Kerivallan was part of it, even Désir’s place.

I don’t know if it belonged to them. They were trinkets of four or five hectares or more, but they had three, four bits like that. There were five hectares. How much did they rent? Two, three, eight or seven hectares – In addition

– No, in all, eight hectares, something like that. It was already a big farm.
A big farm? That was enough for a family of five children and the couple, oh yes. Did we live well with that? Well, we cooked at home huh. At home, always four, five, we were all at home. And you were working? On the farm.

The children stayed [to work on the farm], there was no talk of unemployment.

It’s time for it to stop, for me. It’s time for evolution to stop, because otherwise it’s the end of the world. [Society is…] more advanced; now there are planes, there’s everything. We go to the Moon or Mars.

You want to go to Morocco for eight days, you’re not going to pay more than spending eight days here. So people are learning more [better] about the world. We have more means be free than before. Holidays were invented for this.

Someone who has reached the summits and the depths knows life better than others. In short, he has seen everything in life.

Is life better today? I don’t know. Better? We couldn’t afford to go to the butcher every day anyway, once a week, for a stew. We killed a pig, there were loads of bones, then we ate the pig, soup, pork and lard afterwards with vegetables.

– And today? – Today, people are little, not happy because they have needs, more and more needs and difficulty in satisfying them. Our pleasure was to go drive the tractor if you had one. It was good, the time anyway. We no longer have this notion of pleasure. Yes, older people sometimes have that simplicity. As kids, we enjoyed climbing trees, running, dancing here, on the accordion. On Sundays, we would meet, we would climb everything there, we were having fun, we can’t compare.

Money

A visit, at the time, we bring a small gift, I do not know, a flower. They want the money. It’s just the money that counts. We offer them a book, well no. Give them ten euros, it’s not enough. This notion of money has become too important.
But no, that’s the thing now. We say money, if you have it attracts money, you will have more. And when you manage to have them, you create companies, you also employ people.
We talk to you about the economy, we talk about salary, happiness is… We no longer talk about things, simple things.

Speculation

Now it’s speculation. There you go! When we look at previous years, for example, there were no good harvests in Eastern Europe, the USSR, Russia. There, some bought thousands of tons of grain in France and in countries where it had worked well, to store them and wait for a shortage to sell them at teh highest price possible.
It’s true, it’s a little dishonest, it’s a little too much to take advantage of the misfortune of others.
I heard there’s a shortage of hay. There’s no shortage at all.

Wasn’t it Rennes? They took sold hectares of achère like that, at crazy prices. It means that they still take advantage of people who don’t have any fodder. Because there is none to sell at auction. It was still the rich man who could bid, to get hay.Someone with money. So it’s not helping the one who needs it most in the end. The farmers were for forming the cooperatives, they wanted it in the beginning.

So for the farmer at the time it wasn’t simplicity, or joy, it was hard work? Oh yes, hard work, yes, but we could take our time. You could sit on the edge of the embankment talking to a colleague. Now they’re in their tractor and… They’re competitors now. It’s not the same, huh?

-Everyone got together to harvest the wheat.
-Yes, threshing, machines, everything, for twenty farms. Thresh out the grain at nine in the morning. As a snack, it was a milk soup.

Farmers are all… If there is a plot of land for sale, I can tell you that the atmosphere is…

But I thought it was good. We had chores like peeling the potatoes, we put the casserole dish out in the field to make the food. I don’t know, I thought it was good and healthy. When we did the threshing, it was the same.
The party, My Lady! Down the hatch the bowl [of cider]? So half of them, most of them, came home baked.

What made people leave the farm? Yes, it’s true that the guys, they didn’t stay. Things evolved, they also wanted to see what was going on elsewhere. The young men left to work, to have a little pocket money too, to be able to do what they liked.

– Clothes, dress a little better! Everything has changed everywhere. I am the son of farmers. At the time, we lived well on small farms. We lived, but we didn’t have any ambition either… Today, in society, everything is calculated to be …
Always bigger, as big as possible. There is a scarcity of everything that is… small.
The more ambition we have today, inevitably the greater the challenge. People who don’t have too much ambition, are very happy. You have to know how to move forward in life, but without stepping on others. You have to find your place. There has to be a happy medium.
We will live in tall buildings. In my opinion, politics today makes things that way. That is, to group everything together. Farmers make big farms, stores become big department stores, hospitals, well, we’re going to make big hospitals. Schools will undoubtedly be big schools.

Generosity

Mum often told me, I’m not rich, but oh, give them that. She felt sorry enough for people. If I remember, they were much poorer than us at the bottom of the field there. The woman was starving, she had just given birth. Mum had gone to see her, for the kids. She had gone to see her with a litre of milk. Oh she said, “I give her something, I’ll not be any poorer at the end of the year. We mustn’t be like that.”

The countryside and the city

People who come to the countryside now are people from the city who want to find this kind of life. Big cities, I mean, people who want to find certain values of simplicity, of nature. In a few years, people will return to values of simplicity, in movements where they gather in the countryside, something like that.

Solidarity

We don’t let people die of hunger now. We give them money, but then, we had nothing. There were stragglers begging for bread so as not to work. He came into the house downstairs. “Would you have a piece of bread or a bowl of soup?” I experienced that when I was a kid.

Yes, if the parents had a chore to do, these people worked a little bit to eat. And they ate, they could sleep in the hay pile, in the straw. I don’t think that would happen now. Even if they were starving, as they say, they wouldn’t want to work.

No, things have changed. They prefer to beg in town, yes, that’s it. Sitting on a sidewalk, with a kid or something, and then begging, I’ve seen that.

This is a little bit about showing today’s youth how their grandparents or great-grandparents lived. To show the world that we weren’t that rich in France. That there was… everything. And it existed without subsidies, and it still exists without a subsidy.

The village

Here there was a baker. There I came to get bread from over there in Kerivalain, I went to get bread. This is the first house up to the left.
The Priols. He was also a cyclist. After that, he was a cattle dealer. He returned to Loqueltas.

There were two butchers, there was a café, a grocery store, everything. There was a school.
What happened to make it all disappear?
Because the jobs had all disappeared. What could a lumberjack do if he can’t sell his wood?

No one looks after the cows now, or takes them to graze in the woods. Ten or twenty cows, the wood would always be clean, there would be no need to use bulldozers or tractors when there is a fire.
Because before, there were embankments that prevented the water from running off directly. It was a less stressful time for people. Because now its irrigated, when there’s too much water, it goes back into a reservoir and when it’s too dry, an irrigation system comes on automatically! The machine goes on automatically, and waters everything. If we cut down too many trees, if we grow too much, we can now with the systems we have, we could have calves and cows galore.It’s sad to say, but…
It’s the same with chickens, they can lay millions of eggs. Is that a good thing? At one point they threw everything in the trash. People have never lived so well without tomatoes, salads, … When there are too many potatoes or too many [other crops], they douse it with diesel and burn it all up. They get subsidies for tons of crops that have not been sold. That’s all.

I say it would be better, like Sarkozy, rather than work more to earn more, no, it is working less and work smarter. It would be much more logical to enter into the logic of nature and everything.

On site, a house in the woods

They were called Les Briennes, in Breton, it’s Brienne. You will see, there is an old farmhouse, the walls of an old house there. It fell into disrepair. That’s it, it’s the Proberte house, right? Proberte, it’s a Preberte probably Pro, it’s Pré and Berthe, it’s the name of the owner, I don’t know. And the names of the two children who were sick, it was Brien here. They had two cows. There have been others.
The bailifs also sezied the Briens in Keridan. The bailiff wanted to sell us all the cows and everything. He probably hadn’t paid. The cow merchant arrived with his truck. Everyone on this side is coming together to prevent this sale. And they were able to keep a cow or two. And then there were children, I don’t know what became of it. Afterwards, people took the cow merchant for a thief. Here too, there were three children, they were one hundred percent Christians, even in the afterlife.

I do not see what they can do with so much money. I don’t know if it makes them happier. That’s fine up to a certain limit, but salaries should be based on a ratio of one to ten, for example.

But it’s not based on salary ratios from one to ten. Some people earn billions a day. A farm hand is not going to earn that in his life. It’s still illogical that someone can earn billions with other people’s money, not with his money. That’s almost theft.

Associations form because things are missing.

Why does the state favour having so many associations? It is to get out of their responsibilities… They found a great system there. They say it’s part of what associations do, that. They relieve themselves of those responsibilities. If the world were fair, do you think there would be an association for the poor, like Coluche? Why are there so many people volunteering to serve them meals?

For example, before the war, when the state owned everything, there was poverty? Yes, but everyone was poor! I mean, there wasn’t… Most of the time, the doctor didn’t get paid when he came to see a patient. There was no money, there was a small piece of butter or…

The story is quite simple, there was no water service. People had to drink, take water to the animals. They had fountains. The beasts came there? That’s, right? Here, we are only a kilometre or two from the road.
It has evolved since the consolidations. There were five six embankments, there is nothing left. And it’s a big tractor that…

At the hospital where I worked…

I had 18 people working with me picking potatoes, because all of those people were former farm workers. As they were without families, the farmer put most of them up, and fed them. And when they no longer needed them, they ended up in the hospice.

The farmers’ hospice

Perrine Sanson founded the hospital in Locminé? How shall I say, for the good sisters. She was born here.

Before running water

Here there used to be a well to provide the family with water, whereas now we depend entirely on SAUR. Look at the toilet! Today, we would be told that it does not meet the standards.

We didn’t have electricity in the café yet and well, that’s what I missed the most. I didn’t get it right away, I was so used to taking the wheelbarrow, going to the laundry. They say, it’s funny to have the machine. Oh, I didn’t want the washing machine.

Bread in the village

He heated it the day before with gorse, gorse wood. That’s it, she said it was big flare-ups. And suddenly it preheated the oven well. It was even two days before, I think. Here in fact, it was a hollow path. The neighbours explained to me that they went to school there, they actually joined Grand Champ. It actually cut off, they were going across the field instead of taking the road. It was the hollow path that continued into the field. We see the bell tower, wait! From the kitchen window, I can see. It still saved them maybe two kilometres.

The menhirs

Because I don’t they got here on their own. The menhirs wouldn’t stand like this on their own. And then that’s smart people to put them straight. There have been earthquakes, there has been everything on the menhirs, on the megaliths. They tumbled

Here there were echoes. When I was babysitting, there were great echoes that you sometimes heard an hour later, or a minute later, if you were far away. But for that, time had to play a big role in echoes – It’s curious, but…

– These were echoes of what? If one person was talking and there was another, it’s like we’re both talking. Four or five kilometres sometimes. Maybe it didn’t stop, maybe someone can hear us here. [Sifflement des oiseaux]

Eight hectares, a large farm

Over there, I have two hectares, I have chestnut trees. There were eight hectares to share, I had a horse. In the commune of Ghenno, I was the one who bought the first tractor in the commune. I had the biggest farm, the most hectares. Easier?

Were you happy to have the tractor? I expanded a farm that was smaller, so I moved to a bigger one.

A hundred-year-old lady

Because my brother-in-law knew these people who went to school in Colpo. That would be eighty years ago. They had some land, two or three cows. That was it, but I don’t know much more.

We lived with little. Milk, we raised a few pigs. So it was a pig, meat, a few chickens, but we still bought sugar, there was still some of that.
It all grew there in the meadow. Wasn’t that woodland? No, it was grassland there.
You do more your garden anyway? No, I had it dug ah, yes. I had it dug, I have my lawn cut. There is goodwill, eh. I was born in fourteen, April 1914.

There were four of us in April. I was born on a farm. So, I came to make my communion because there was no right to do it outside his commune of birth. So, they took me to boarding school with the nuns because we had four kilometres to go. So, I came back after my communion to finish my great studies in Josselin. I went back to my godmother’s house.
Studies of what? My studies? Ah, you know, I have some in there: the certificate of studies.

– Certificate of studies? I missed it, because I didn’t pass. You were not hard enough? I certainly would have had it, because I made a lot of mistakes. Really? In the calculation, it was fine. I knew how to count money.

About menhirs – UNESCO

So, children, gentlemen, ladies. On this prehistoric site where before us, there were people, they erected these menhirs, megaliths and dolmens. When we return on May 26, 2012, perhaps three thousand years later, we will mark our presence in this wonderful site, with children and centenarians. It can represent the whole world today, be it American, European, Indian. Since the departure by babies to the extreme (and is only in 2012). Not many people live more than a hundred years at present [pas de dialogue].

We hope that the cultural centre of Brittany takes note of such a wonderful site, and that UNESCO, one hundred and eighteen countries, announced in the papers two weeks ago, will undoubtedly own this place. So we take advantage of it beforehand.

And thank you.