Ageing gracefully

It’s rare for a day to pass without mention in the local newspaper, the Nice Matin, of someone celebrating in excess of their centenary years. Yes, longevity appears to be the norm, but why? Is it the celebrated Mediterranean diet, the weather, attitude, genes or a combination of all of the above?

Surrounded as I am by lots of very spritely neighbours in their eighties and older, I have tried to determine the key to their “joie de vivre”. Diet is very definitely important. The French obsess about their food and wine, but always in moderation. They eat plenty of fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables, three meals a day and don’t snack between meals. They take regular exercise and have enviably active social lives; always out and about with family and friends. They’re always happy to stop and pass the time of day on any and every subject; they’re all very well read. They never, ever complain about aches and pains and very rarely discuss their health, or lack of it. They all look much younger than their years. Obviously, it’s their attitude and state of mind which is important.

Most mornings I see my neighbours (female) going out shopping in their heels, immaculately made up, beautifully coiffured and undeniably chic. They are an inspiration to me and I can only hope (and pray) that I look half as good when I attain their ages. In case you’re interested, I have yet some way to go.