Great gran celebrates 109th birthday, putting long life down to being 'stubborn'

Olive Edwards recently celebrated her 109th birthday, making her just four years younger than the UK’s oldest living person.

When asked for her secret, the great grandmother doesn’t have any elaborate tricks.

Instead, she puts her longevity down to eating three meals a day and being ‘stubborn.’

The retired teacher likes to eat salmon and asparagus and drinks lots of water, spending her time reading, knitting, and sewing.

For her special day, chef Tyrone at Birchlands Care Home in Haxby, North Yorkshire, where she lives, made Olive her favourite meal.

She polished her salmon lunch off with a slice of homemade cake, which she said looked ‘beautiful.’

Olive – who has two daughters, is a grandma-of-four and a great-grandma-of-six – was also over the moon to receive a card from King Charles congratulating her on reaching the milestone.

‘My secret is to be stubborn and keep going,’ Olive commented.

‘I always ate three meals a day. Salmon and asparagus is my favourite meal, and I always drank plenty of water and still do.’

Olive also credits her incredible age to staying active for as long as physically possible and keeping busy with hobbies.

‘When I was 80, I used to play football and cricket with my grandsons,’ she added.

Having spent her life teaching at an infant school, Olive has seen the world change dramatically, living through two World Wars and witnessing the advent of modern technology like television and phones.

As of next year, she’ll join the list of 154 British citizens to reach ‘supercentenarian’ status, just a few years behind 113-year-old Ethel Caterham, who holds the title of the oldest living person in the country.

The longest-living person ever documented in the UK was Charlotte Hughes, who was born in 1877 and died in 1993.

The 115-year-old was described as ‘extremely domineering, outspoken, and sharp; but also as friendly and witty,’ by loved ones, and remained mentally alert right up until her final days.

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