Whenever a person of 100+ years-old makes the news, people immediately want to know “What is the key to a long life?”
Whether it’s because we fear death, or reporters need to come up with some more original questions, it’s guaranteed to make the cut – but at least the responses are usually interesting.
Over the years, cenetenarian’s have come up with a wide range of answers, from “honouring your mother and father” to drinking three cans of a beer and a shot of scotch each day. However, it looks as though men and women have very different ideas about what lands you a coveted spot in the 100 club.
At least, that’s the case with Brenda Osbourne and Lesley Hayman. Two of the oldest people in the UK, the pair hit the headlines seperately this week for their unique take on longetivity.
Brenda, from Nottingham, UK, just turned 105, and loves to shock people who dare to ask her for tips on living longer.
“I would put my good health down to hard work and avoiding men,” she said.
“I loved celebrating my birthday although I was disappointed the Queen didn’t come,
“I received my letter from her but I thought an appearance was the least she could do.”
Born on 13th September 1913, the retired nurse spent the majority of her life in her childhood home, before moving to a nursing home last year.
She began her career at Victoria Hospital in 1940, where she nursed veterans from the Battle of Dunkirk. By 1953, she’d risen through the ranks to become a senior nurse, and impressively, received an award for taking only one sick day in 33 years.
Marie Pollard, Brenda’s great-niece, said she could easily believe her aunt’s secret was avoiding men.
“My auntie living for over a century is no surprise to me as she’s always been fiercely independent,” she said.
On the other hand, 100-year-old Lesley from Somerset, UK, has a different idea. The retired baker believes the answer to a long life is simple – never skip dessert.
Lesley, whose fitness levels would put much younger men to shame, says he’s always had a “tremendous appetite,” yet has managed to remain a healthy weight his whole life.
He discovered his sweet tooth while working for the family bakery at age 12, where he delivered goods by horse and cart.
He worked in the family bakery for most of his life, except from 1939 to 1945 when he joined the war effort.
He had two near misses during World War II. The first was while stationed at mount Etna in 1942, the year the volcano erupted.
The second was later the same year, when his tank was bombed by Germans. He miraculously survived by escaping through a turret the crew had forgot to close.
His granddaughter Claire, 49, now runs Hayman’s Bakery, but Lesley still likes a pie or pudding every night after dinner. His favourites are apple pie, chocolate brownies, and sponge cake.
“Les has a tremendous appetite and loves his food.” His daughter-in-law Jennifer, 74, joked.
“It’s incredible really, he never leaves anything and never skips dessert.”
While his son Tim, also 74, added: “He eats more than me – we don’t know where he puts it all.”
So, it’s no surprise that Lesley spent his 100th birthday yesterday enjoying a nice meal with family, of which he has plenty – three children, five grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren, to be exact.
We wonder what he had for dessert?