It’s a matter of regret that I didn’t start recording Margot’s life and words sooner. I will write more, but for now, here are a few quotes from our conversations in the past year or so. Each one sums up her spirit and philosophy.
“Never look back, always look forward”
This is one of her favourite sayings – and central to the Margot philosophy. You can’t reach 102 without experiencing personal tragedy, but she has always moved through those times with amazing force and resilience.
“The one thing you can be sure of in life is that things will change – don’t get stuck”
She has an incredible ability to keep current and has never viewed change as something to be afraid of. I always think of how she embraced email – instinctively understanding that it was a casual – that there was no need to get hung up on punctuation, dears or with-loves-from.
“Once you stop learning, you start dying” –Albert Einstein. Is embracing change the key to a long and happy life?
“I’m like jelly – I settle anywhere”
Perhaps her generation had less time for sentimentality? Margot always had a beautiful home, but made it wherever she found it – saying “there is such a thing as staying in one place for too long”.
“When you start feeling sorry for yourself you are in deep trouble”
Woe is never she. Always look forward.
“Old age is not an illness – it is a condition”
Margot’s only complaint about reaching such an extraordinary age is that she is often overcome with tiredness. She gives up each aspect of her independence very, very reluctantly.
Why, Margot, do you think that women outlive men?
“Because we are so valuable to society”
Yes, who else would do the work of caring? My friends Jules says that we hang on so we can enjoy a bit of peace and quiet and please ourselves at the end of life. I like that theory too.
“Money is not for spending”
Granny totally confounds the 21st-century economic model that spending-makes-the-world-go-round. She will not part with a penny more than she absolutely has to. As a result, she has funded her retirement – living off an income from her savings – for more than 40 years.
“It’s a funny old world. Your generation asks so many questions about how to live. We just got on with it”.
And yet here I am Granny, looking for you to answers as to how I should live.
On what it was like to live through World War 2 –
“There was no emphasis on whether we were happy, but we were happy doing our work. We had a sense of usefulness. Having nothing to do is a terrible thing”.
And finally, possibly my favourite Margot quote ever. On a recent visit, we were discussing how she is still so mobile, walking without a frame – unlike many much younger than her…
“You see, people are afraid they are going to fall. I don’t think I am going to fall. That is how I look at life.”
I wrote about a conversation Margot and I had a year or so ago, her advice for a long and stylish life click here to read it.
*The Wedgewood suffragette in the top image was given to Granny for her work with Equal Opportunities in Northern Ireland. She has passed her to me and I call her Margot.
Thank you so much for stopping by.