The Third Leader: If grannies ruled the world...

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The Independent Online

They don't generally like a fuss, so you might not have noticed that grannies have been changing lately. They no longer wear black, have their hair in a bun, sit nearest the fire and shout, "What?" because they can't hear a thing over the noise of the rocking chair and the knitting.

No, we learn from a survey in Yours magazine, today's grannies feel 20 years younger and barely sit, never mind knit, what with the holidays, the shopping for fashionable items, the trips to the hairdresser or for another glass of wine. The real problem with egg-sucking instruction would be finding a window for it.

Perhaps the most fascinating finding is that a whopping 77 per cent of them say they are happy, which is even more remarkable when you consider that many of them are mothers-in-law. And still married.

The secret? Well, there's a fair proportion who were in their twenties in the Sixties, but the effects must have worn off by now. And the average wine consumption is only five units a week. The answer more likely lies in our progress away from the double whammy of having both age and sex against them. And then there's that ancient, unique gift: we're programmed to like them.

There are splendid signs, too, that grannies, having risen, are not standing still. The Raging Grannies is an international social justice movement, with some fine granny protest songs, viz: "Georgie Porgie, you're all wrong, Bombs are not the answer! You can take your stupid war, And stick it in your pants, sir!" And, really, when you think about it, wouldn't it be better if grannies did rule the world?

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