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What's your secret of long life, having experienced almost twice as much of it as I have?

'Isn't that extraordinary. And I don't really feel very ill ... I don't feel I'm going to die next year. But one has to die, doesn't one? I don't want to go out ingloriously, you know. I'd rather die abruptly.'

Actually, I think you'll be getting that one hundredth birthday telegram from the Queen.

'No! Well, now why is that. I've never had any exercise in my long life. I'm passionately devoted to cricket, but that's my only game -- a very slow game as you know. I played for my school second eleven -- a very humble role. Cricket does light me up -- I suppose because it's quite a clever game. It involves thought. I've never played any game since, though I think most people should play games -- that's what they're for.

'I suppose I used to walk a lot, but I think the main reason why I stayed well is that I was always believing in things. After a concert last week, we had a discussion about a few remarks I'd made about me, and somebody said "I think I would say you're an optimist, aren't you?" I'd never thought about that. I suppose I am!

'I think what one has to do is simply to get on with living! And you can't therefore say "I don't believe in anything". I believe in so much -- not in God, no, I told you that. I think that's passing the buck, you see! I believe in what man can do, and by Jove, he's done some pretty marvellous things.'

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Copyright © 26 April 2004 Keith Bramich, Worcestershire UK

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