NAME: Eladia F.
Place of birth: Jaen (Spain)
Woman, 86 years old
Place of residence: Vannes
Childhood and adolescence
It was after the war in Spain. We were 6 brothers and sisters. We were very happy despite the restrictions, thanks to family life. We read lots of books borrowed from the library. My mother had very delicate health, she suffered from the cold of Castile and we left for the south, in Andalusia.
I went to school and high school. I couldn't have a college career because being the eldest daughter, I took care of my mother.
We stayed for 8 years in Andalusia. When I was 21, I started working as a journalist (presenter) at the provincial radio station: presenting news, poetry and literature programmes. I had the opportunity to receive and interview famous people from theater and cinema. My paternal grandmother and three of my father's sisters lived in the same large house. My grandfather was detestable, he was a Francoist military commander. His political ideas were not those of my parents, which caused a lot of tension in the families. My mother had only her father, her mother haddied during the war. My maternal grandfather loved me and it was mutual. At the age of 29 I took a year off to study French at the Alliance Française in Paris. Two years later I married an English study friend. We had two daughters, the first was born in Paris and then we went to live in England for eight years. Very good memories of my English parents-in-law. I liked the country a lot but I didn't work there, I took care of my daughters and I went to English classes at night.
We returned to Paris where my husband worked at the British Cultural Center and we stayedthere until he retired. I worked in Paris as a costume designer for the Opera and the Comédie Française. When we retired we chose to come and live in Brittany.
The relationship with the elderly
In the family and the environment we livedin, we respected the elderly very much, we always had the cult of the elderly in Spain. It was inconceivable that an elderly relative would be placed in a retirement home. My maternal grandfather was very fond ofreading and we all listened to music on a gramophone together. My aunt looked after her widowed father until his death. Very strong bonds between my maternal grandfather and my brothers and I. He was the administrator of a French-owned lead and silver mine, hence his attachment to French culture, especially literature (Voltaire, Diderot ...)
The elderly deserve credit for some very difficult times, sometimes more pleasant. My husband and I were happy until he passed away, we shared a lot. LifetodayI have been a widow for a year and a half. My children and grandchildren are in Paris, they visitme when they can. When we arrived in Brittany we invested a lot in an association in which I gave language lessons for 22 years. It allowed us to create deep friendships and social bond. These are friendships that last, friends who help me and accompany me.
Isleep a lot especially in the morning. I have a few visits from friends, a little housework. My health has deteriorated over the past year but I still read a lot. The media?I watch TV, especially news and documentaries, sometimes the BBC or the Spanish channels. I have used the internet a lot, even now, especially messaging. I have a smartphone even though O do not feelvery comfortable with.
What drives me forward...
The pleasure or the hope of seeing my children and grandchildren succeed in their lives.
Role of retirees
Towards the end of retirement, health issues do not leave much choice.Loneliness, widowhood after 56 years of marriage means that we only live on the memories of a lifetime ...