Emma Morano, who was born on November 29, 1899, says there’s no great mystery to why she’s managed to still be alive and kicking at 117.
The brandy-drinking Italian mostly credits her old age to being single and getting to bed early each night.
When told last month that she made it into the Guinness World Records as the oldest person alive, Emma reportedly said, “My word, I’m old as the hills,” which also basically cemented her as the most world’s most charming, as well.
As for her diet, there’s also not much to glean – or maybe there is?
“I eat two eggs a day, and that’s it. And cookies. But I do not eat much because I have no teeth,” she said, in an interview with AFP last month.
The supercentenarian says she started the habit of eating two raw eggs, and one cooked egg, every day, aged 20, when she was diagnosed with anaemia.
Emma, who does not eat meat partly through fear of contracting cancer, has lived alone since she left her violent husband in 1938 shortly after the death in infancy of her only son.
“I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone,” she said.
The former factory worker and cook, who took on a full-time carer and has been bedbound since last year, has not left her Verbania apartment on Lake Maggiore in 20 years.
She has outlived all her eight younger siblings and now proudly boasts the Guinness World Records certificate, declaring her the oldest person alive, on her marble-topped chest of drawers.
“People come. I don’t invite anybody but they come. From America, Switzerland, Austria, Turin, Milan … They come from all over to see me,” she said.
But Emma doubts she’ll be joining them for birthday cake: “The last time I ate a little, but then I did not feel good.”
By all accounts, Emma is apparently alert, but is very deaf, speaks with difficulty and cannot see well enough to watch television.
She has five years still to go to top the all-time record holder, France’s Jeanne Calment, who met Vincent Van Gogh while a teenager in Arles, but who died in 1997 aged 122.