Humor helps gentlemen to reach 110.

Britain’s oldest men are both turning 110 this week. Yes, 110!!

The Telegraph in the UK reports, “The two have credited their old age to porridge and a good sense of humour.”

Well, I like to think I have one of those covered, but I will need to develop an affinity for porridge if I want to be a centenarian (which, honestly, I’m not sure I want to be. But surely that’s similar to the 10-year-old totally unable to imagine what it would be like to be 43? By the time I get closer to 100 I could be surprised at how awesome it really is).

Another great thing about these two men? Although they have never met, they have exchanged birthday cards for years! It’s as if they have embraced the idea of having a birthday twin! Both Robert Weighton and Alf Smith were born March 29 1908.

Secret to Old Age

Former farmer Smith’s recipe for longevity? “Porridge is helpful and having a job you enjoy.

Weighton, an engineer most of his life, said: “I think laughter is extremely important. Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people taking themselves too seriously.”

birthday longevity

Photo by on / CC BY-NC-ND

Weighton also “dismissed smoking as ‘horrible’ and ‘absurd’ after trying it in his early teens and is equally unimpressed by wealth, saying he ‘never wanted to become rich.’”

Some would say, though, he is rich with family. The father of three has 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

If I do make it to centenarian and they are interviewing me about what I attribute my longevity to, I hope I’ll still be able to say “good friends, good books, and the occasional sweet.” (I put occasional in there assuming I’ll have to cut back more to get to 100!).


100-year-old twins share birthday photoshoot

You’re hard pressed these days to go to a pretty park on a lovely day and not come across some carefully dressed children in front of a photographer. I live nearby a park with a lake right in the heart of Charlotte, NC, and often see kids with balloons or chalkboards announcing what birthday is being captured on film (or digital more likely). Never, though, have I seen a set of 100-year-old twins posing for the camera!

A British photographer, though, made it possible after reading about the pending centennial of two Brazilian sisters. Camila Lima, who focuses her photography on elderly subjects, contacted the family and offered to capture their big day. “I had never met anyone with 100 years, let alone twins that age…I thought, this is a moment that should be remembered for eternity.”

The siblings — Maria Pignaton Pontin and Paulina Pignaton Pandolfi of Brazil — showed up to the photoshoot with freshly styled hair and new, bright dresses.

Lima said the women were lively and excited throughout the shoot. The resulting photographs, shared on Metro News of the UK, have a festive air to them too!

I couldn’t resist sharing some of the vibrant images that the website included with its story. Seeing these vibrant smiles makes me (almost) look forward to my own 100th birthday!



Birthdays at 100. Not so bad after all.

birthday fun fact

Photo credit: MichaelTapp via / CC BY-NC

If I were a better debater I might be dead now. Back in my college days I ran a debate case with a partner suggesting that anyone reaching the age of ____ should end their lives. I don’t remember wanting to kill them, but they were to dutifully off themselves. I don’t remember the precise age either; but I am certain 40 would have been as old as I would likely go. More likely 35.

I was 18. That seemed forever away, and I couldn’t imagine wanting to be middle aged. Let alone old. It’s the same kind of thinking four-year-olds show in seeing 16-year-olds as adults.

Recently, though, I read we are typically lasting longer. I know my RSS feed for birthdays regularly shows someone hitting 100 featured in their local paper.  It’s no longer a big thing. According to the Press of Atlantic City, the National Study of Aging projects the population of people 100 and older is expected to increase 400 percent or more.

A Saskatoon paper in my native Canada recently covered six centenarians’ celebrating their birthdays together in the same senior’s center.

Also recently on social media there was an image going around of a 98-year-old man wanting to get 98 likes from his granddaughter’s network. He was over 69k when I read about it, and the messages were from around the world wishing the man a happy day. I loved seeing people from Ireland, Tokyo, Australia and France wishing the near-centenarian happy birthday.


Image source:

And now that I am officially middle aged, I can appreciate someone living that long. I still don’t know that I want to, but I understand the appeal. After all, I have a son now and would love to see as many of his birthdays as I can. Plus, seeing a grandchild’s birthdays (while a largely unfathomable idea right now) would be something to enjoy too.

So, take this blog as a public retraction of my earlier stance. I will live and let live with my own special emphasis on birthdays going forward!