Friday, 4 October 2013

A 111-year-old's secret to a long life? 20 cigs a day and a pint of sherry for breakfast

By Judy Broadbent

DOROTHY PEEL celebrated her 111th birthday yesterday and says her longevity is down to booze, cigs and never having had children.

Widow Dorothy has enjoyed a tipple for years and has smoked for most of her life.

She said: “I drank regularly throughout the day. In the morning I had half a pint of sherry, for lunch a gin and tonic and around 7pm a small ginger ale with a bit of whisky. These days I just have a sherry now and again.

“I decided to pack in smoking when I was 103 because I got bronchitis and the doctor warned me my life was in danger!

“I used to smoke 20 a day but not any more. I have been tempted to have the odd cig at Christmas or New Year along with pink champagne, which is my favourite drink of all time.

“So much for smoking and drinking isn’t good for you. I am living proof that a little of what you fancy does you good. And I think not having had kids has helped. That’s probably why I look and feel so good.”

Dorothy, of Bridlington, east Yorkshire, vividly remembers the sinking of the Titanic and being bombed out twice in the war when she lived and worked as a secretary in Hull.

She said: “Everyone was really shocked when the Titanic sank. There was sadness everywhere. I’ve lived through two world wars. In the second, the shelter I was in was bombed but I wasn’t scared really.

“A bomb fell next door and my neighbours were killed. That was sad.”

Dorothy has lived in residential care for the past 13 years.

Her key worker Alison Gibson said: “She gives us a run for our money! She is wonderful, is independent, loves to choose her own clothes and dress herself.

“She will not wear slippers and insists on wearing her bespoke court shoes with a 2in heel. She’s very elegant and knows her own mind.”

The oldest woman in the UK is Grace Adelaide Jones who is 113 and lives in Bermondsey, south-east London.


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