A lady who has turned 106 says the key to her long and healthy life is: Don’t worry about anything.
Cordelia Rimmington received a card from the Queen to commemorate her birthday.
Before moving last year to Ailsa Lodge Nursing Home in Bangor, its manager says Mrs Rimmington had been living independently in the town for years and had travelled to the US alone at the age of 99.
She remains sharp, walks unaided, does not need glasses and even entertains other residents with piano playing.
“I can just about reach an octave,” said Mrs Rimmington, stretching out her hands.
She originally hails from Birkenhead and moved from England to Northern Ireland in the 1970s when her husband was given a senior role with the Prudential.
Today, she calls Northern Ireland home.
Asked what the secret of her longevity is, she said: “Just carry on living. Don’t worry about anything – I don’t. I just let things happen. It’s worked quite well.”
She struggled to recall her earliest memory, saying she had been “too young to bother” with the First World War.
But she did remember one prominent event before that.
“Yes, I remember the Titanic,” she said. “I remember thinking, ‘what an awful occasion’.”
Asked what one of the main differences is today in comparison to her earlier years, she said: “We’re more free, I think, than we were. Our parents were stricter with us than they are now. There’s more freedom – freedom to do what we want. It is a good thing.
“I lead a very pleasant life. I’ve plenty of freedom; I’m not tied up with anything.”
On being described as having reached a “ripe old age”, she chastised this reporter.
“Don’t say ‘ripe’,” she said. “It sounds like old fruit. I don’t feel old now. I never feel old.”
Mrs Rimmington had taught arts and crafts at Donaghadee High School until she was in her 80s, said Clive Robinson, who manages the home owned by wife Jacqui.
Fellow resident Gerald Hudson, 89, originally from Irvinestown, said: “I never thought I’d be so favoured in all my life as to meet such a wonderful lady.”
Mrs Rimmington’s birthday fell on Friday, May 10.