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Borehamwood artist Blodwen Wilkinson celebrates 100th birthday
Cider vinegar and a daily dose of brandy are the secrets to long life for a 100 year old woman.
Blodwen Wilkinson, who will be celebrating her birthday tomorrow, has lived in the same house in Borehamwood nearly all her life.
The former nurse moved into Shenley Road when she married her husband Alfred aged just 22.
Mr Wilkinson, who was a chemist at Elstree Studios, and his family had lived there since it was built in 1927.
The mother of three said she remembered Borehamwood as a “lovely little village.”
“I remember all of the old little shops including Tuckers the drapers shop and Hanson and Maude. I still dream of the ice cream.
“I used to take my children for picnics in the bluebell woods near Theobald Street for picnics.
“You can’t go there anymore.”
After her husband’s death from cancer in 1975, Mrs Wilkinson took up upholstery, tailoring and painting.
She said: "I couldn't paint at first, I could barely draw, but I worked at it as I did with my dressmaking until I could do it."
Mrs Wilkinson has been a keen artist for many years and has had work exhibited in Borehamwood.
Some of her work was also selected for by the Royal Academy, of which she is very proud.
She added: “I’m still an active member of the Radlett Art Society and exhibited work in their last show.
“I have a lot of friends there and always have a lovely time.”
Sitting among photographs of her family and overlooked by the portraits and landscapes she has produced over the years, Mrs Wilkinson revealed her secrets to long life.
The mother of three said: “I don’t feel 100.
“My legs and eyes aren’t as good as they were but I’ve still got all my faculties. I wash and dress myself every day.
“I really enjoy listening to quiz shows such as University Challenge and Mastermind, which keeps me sharp.”
Mirs Wilkinson added the secret to her health was a regular dose of brandy and plentiful use of cider vinegar.
She said: “I drink the vinegar in the morning and use it to massage myself all over as well. It gets the circulation going.
“I used to have a dose of brandy every afternoon but now I have it as a night cap. It really makes the brain work.”
Mrs Wilkinson, whose father died in a mining accident in her native Wales when she was four months old, said she had been blessed with a very happy marriage and a wonderful life.
She added: “I’m looking forward to my party and seeing all my relatives and friends, though I’m not thinking too much about it as I want to take it easy and I might feel pressured otherwise.
“My daughter says we’re expecting 100 people, I’ve no idea how they’ll all fit in the garden.”
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