Milly says - I can sit after breakfast and do really good eyebrows

Do you have to age when you grow old?

To age or not to age? A talk at the Bevy and being the oldest person in the room

 Last week I went to  The Bevy in Bevendean,

“the first community-owned state pub and cafe in the UK “

‘Brains at the Bevy’ is a series  talks from local academics. Ours was called

“How we grow old, why we grow old and what we can do about it?’”

by Richard Faragher from the University of Brighton.

Shula suggested I go as I’m really old

I turned up in my purple wheelchair, dressed in my new culottes and flowery top from Top Shop; ready to let everyone know exactly how I’ve arrived at 100 years.

I was of course the oldest person in the audience. When it was time for questions and answers I  let them know: ‘My hair hasn’t turned grey and I’m also quite good looking, so I’ve been told.’Richard the lecturer said that there were students in his group who would be happy to look as good as me.

Coincidentally a gentleman asked the oldest guest – me – what I’ve most enjoyed in the last twenty years?

I told him that I enjoy reading.Then he said he was a book seller

I’m addicted to print (as I’ve said before), I read anything, even labels, I can’t resist them. I love reading newspapers and am always doing crosswords; I’m a lifelong reader, I read the papers some mornings until 5, after all I don’t have to get up to milk any cows!

 I also like to talk a lot; I think that’s what keeps my brain so active. I told the audience about my public speaking career and how I used to speak without any notes.

‘I think it’s absolutely essential that if you want to live longer you should not be other-directed you should be self-directed. If you exist in an atmosphere where you are told what to do you will certainly not live as long as if you live in an atmosphere where you’ve chosen what to do. So if you are under anybody’s thumb throw it off and tread on it!!!’ That made them laugh! There is a famous study called the Whitehall Study of Civil Servants, which apparently makes exactly that point so I was informed. But mine is more valid because I’m a living example!

I generously gave away the secret formula for making sure wrinkles are kept at bay, which is to try to train yourself to sleep on your back. I have done this for many years and have very few sleep wrinkles. If you sleep on your side you iron them in!

It was pointed out during the lecture that exercise is very good to keep the body young and marvellous if you can do it, which I can, I do yoga sessions twice a week and exercise every day. Diet is important too, practicing good weight control, but again only provided you can do it, which I can, I eat small potions and at the insistence of my daughter I am required to re-populate my gut by drinking Kefir.

It would seem that I’m doing a lot of things correctly to ensure I stay healthy, its certainly clear that I’ve lived a long life, but possibly some of it will be down to my strong Russian Genes.

At the end of the talk I had a good chat with some lovely people, all in all an enlightening evening out at a perfect venue. It certainly does ‘all go on at The Bevy’.

Milly Rich

Milly was born in 1917 and lives 'in the now' (informed by history). She is a fashion designer, conchologist, company director and inspiration for Waking Beauty Sleep System. Life long beauty? What are your views?