Jean Cameron, the oldest resident at Dalweem Residential Home in Aberfeldy, has just celebrated her 104th birthday surrounded by family after more than a year of Covid-19 restrictions.
The birthday girl shared her secrets for a long and healthy life – even citing her favourite TV soap as something that has helped keep her chirpy over the years.
Jean says: “I felt I was very lucky to have got to 104 and have had such a happy life.
“It was wonderful to celebrate with family and friends who I haven’t seen much of due to Covid-19 restrictions.”
Jean was born in Strath Tummel in 1917 and has lived through the First and Second World Wars, the 1918 influenza pandemic, the moon landing and now the Coronavirus pandemic.
Her mother died when she was just four years old and she was brought up by her grandparents. Her grandparents owned the local post office, where Jean worked, eventually taking it over when they retired.
She grew up with a sister and three brothers – two of whom fought in the Second World War.
She waited until her 30s to get married to husband Robert, who was a local farmer in Strath Tummel.
Pauline Buchan, depute manager at Dalweem Residential Home said: “Jean came to Dalweem in September 2020. She is our oldest resident.
“For all residents, we arrange for a birthday cake to be made and buy a gift for them, as well as having family in. However, during Covid, families have not been allowed in.
“As this was an extra special occasion, we arranged with Jean’s family that they could meet up outside our sunroom with Jean and celebrate her birthday following current Covid guidance.
“We set up birthday balloons and organised sandwiches, tea and coffee, and some fizz.
“It was so lovely to see families getting together for such a special occasion and to see the delight in Jean’s face.”
As Dalweem Residential Home’s oldest resident, Jean has plenty of advice for a life as long and happy as hers, including fresh air, exercise and quality time with friends.
She also loves keeping up with the soaps – especially Emmerdale and Coronation Street.
“We enjoyed walking and cycling. We used to walk from Strath Tummel to Struan which was quite a distance to visit my father who lived there with my three brothers,” she says.
“I am happy seeing friends and family who are much younger than me. I like to take strolls around the Dalweem Orchard Garden and sit to take in the fresh air.
“I like spending time with younger people and hearing their news.
“I want to keep feeling as young as I can and enjoy the company of other young people.”