Porridge, exercise and hard work are what you need to live a long life, according to Scotland’s oldest woman Jessie Gallan.
Oh, that and avoiding men and marriage.
The 109-year-old, who currently lives at a care home in Aberdeen reckons men shorten your life and are just ‘more trouble than they’re worth’.
Jessie was born in a tiny farm cottage and went out to work milking the cows at the age of 13. But before becoming a milkmaid, she used to sleep top to tail with her five sisters and one brother on a straw mattress in the cottage.
When asked about her life and her tips for longevity by her care workers she said: “My secret to a long life has been staying away from men. They’re just more trouble than they’re worth.
“I also made sure that I got plenty of exercise, eat a nice warm bowl of porridge every morning and have never gotten married.”
“I always worked hard and seldom would I ever take a holiday. I left home when I was 13 and began a job milking cows.
“I always had good jobs with very nice people. It’s amazing to see how completely different the world is now from the one I grew up in.”
Jessie also recommended living your life to the full every day and doing things you enjoy, saying she used to do a lot of knitting.
To celebrate her 109th birthday, Jessie enjoyed a nice lunch and slice of cake at her care home, Crosby House. She never married, but is a popular character at the home with lots of friends among the staff and other residents.
Senior support worker Rebecca Streeter said that everyone loves chatting to her and hearing about her life stories – and that she has an incredible memory and lust for life. She revealed that: “Jessie still takes part in the group activities, she likes her exercise.
“She goes to all the concerts and enjoys her church on a Sunday. And obviously she has led a very healthy lifestyle.”
Jessie’s not the oldest person in the UK though – that title goes to Gladys Hooper who is 112! She recently took over from Ethel Lang who did at the ripe old age of 114. But Jessie is the oldest living person in Scotland – after the previous owner of that epithet, Clare Dawson, from Glasgow, died at the age of 109 in June 2013.
Insert jokes about not wanting to live to 109 if you’re married here.