Sitting in her favourite chair at her Sudbury home, Berlinda Theobald shows no sign of slowing down.
After celebrating her 100th birthday on Sunday, Mrs Theobald proudly opens another card, one of the dozens already delivered to her at the Red House Residential Home in Meadow Lane.
Still active – she dances regularly at the Delphi Social Club – she kindly shares her secret to longevity ... “fresh fruit and vegetables and lots of exercise,” she says.
“For 100, I haven’t got any rheumatism,” she adds. “I’ve led a healthy life, only my sight has gone. Other than that, I’ve got no problems.”
After being born in India, where her father was in the Army, she later moved to Colchester. She was named Berlinda because her father was sent to Berlin.
Having moved to Sudbury, fresh fruit and vegetables were always available, picked daily from her father’s allotment, a theme that continued at the bungalow in Pot Kiln Road, Great Cornard, that she built with her late husband George, who himself lived until he was 101.
It was here that the couple brought up their daughter, Virginia, 75, and son, Michael, 73.
Together with the care home, Virginia organised a party on Sunday with friends, family and residents all invited.
“I told them I didn’t want any fuss, and I got the biggest fuss ever,” said Mrs Theobald, who admitted it had been so long since she had seen some of the people present that she did not recognise them at first.
But then that is hardly surprising when you have five grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.