Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are

137 years and going strong……

This week, for the first time I’m kicking off my post with a joke:

A BBC reporter is in the Ural mountains interviewing the world’s oldest man, Vladimir Veryoldovich:

“Vladimir, you are 137 years old, what is your secret to such longevity?”

Through a translator, Vladimir takes in the question, ponders, then replies:

“Three things: I eat hearty food, I drink a glass of vodka each day since I was 14  and I never, ever in my life have sex”

Astonished, the reporter enquires

“You’ve never had sex!? So, what has helped you manage to stay so cheerful?”


When I see pictures of people who have lived to a great age,  I am very often struck by one thing.  This one thing applied to the last handful of WW1 veterans who finally died in the past couple of years. It also applied to the Indian couple in Bradford who recently celebrated their 86th wedding anniversary.

So, what is it?

Well quite simply, they have a sparkle in their eye, an apparent continuing zest for life. They seem to still look forward. They don’t appear to be the stereotypical “old” people who sit in easy chairs in a semi-daze watching TV all day with a steady supply of nice cups of tea. In fact, many quote a drop of alcohol or even the odd ciggy as being part of their secret.

This begs the question – is the key to longevity as simple as eating healthily and getting plenty of exercise or can there be another magic ingredient that we so easily overlook?


How is it that Keith Richard and Ozzy Osborne are still with us? If their lifestyle were anything to go by, they should have kicked the bucket donkey’s years ago, but they just keep going through thick and thin. Conversely, I’ve seen some of the most miserable, unhealthy looking individuals behind the counter in health food shops before now.

I’m not saying that this is by any means a hard and fast rule and nor am I suggesting that we all go “ape”  and eat, drink and be merry to excess. What does seem evident though is that a love of life, the kind of anticipation mentioned in the joke above, seems to be a significant contributor to many a long, healthy life.

So, will I live to see the kind of age Vladimir achieved? I guess if I want to, I may need to get partying, anticipate more and chuck out the easy chair and tea bags! A spot of humour can also help, so…..

I’ll close with another story:

Ethel and Walter are co-residents at the Sunset Days retirement home.

One day Ethel pipes up to Walter:

“Walter, I bet I can guess exactly what age you are and your precise date of birth”

“How on earth can you do that, Ethel?”

“You’ll need to take your trousers down Walter”

Being the compliant type as well as being intrigued, he duly unhitches his braces and drops his trousers. Ethel then proceeds to cup his privates in her hand and massages them for a couple of minutes whilst humming happily to herself. She then lets go, takes a breath and declares:

“You are 86 and your birthday is  4th October. “

“Spot on, Ethel, how on earth did you get that right!!??”

“You told me yesterday Walter”

Now, that’s spirit!       


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One Response to “137 years and going strong……”

  1. Apparently the then wolds oldest person, a French lady of about 125, was asked what the secret to her long life was. She replied giving up cigarettes. When asked when was it that she gave them up, she replied, on her 100th birthday.

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