The secret of eternal youth?

JEANNE CALMENT, the oldest person in history, who died in 1997 aged 122, attributed her longevity to olive oil and port.

Cleopatra, queen of ancient Egypt, took baths of asses’ milk to preserve her skin’s beauty and youth.

And seaweed-eating nations like Iceland often have higher-than-average life expectancies.

So, what’s the secret to a long, healthy life?

I’ve been told by some elderly people that consuming fish, tea and ginger biscuits are all good ways to live to a ripe old age.

So we bath in asses’ milk, while eating seaweed followed by fish fingers swimming in olive oil, and ginger biscuits for pudding, all washed down by port and builder’s brew.

Heck! I’d sooner go hungry.

I wouldn’t actually live longer but it would seem that way.

Now, I’m not sure but I think we’re allowed to get older but we’re not supposed to look as though we are.

Is that right? Do the Botoxers and face-filler folk actually know that we know they’ve been cheating?

The problem for people who’ve had excessive Botox, you see, is that they don’t look younger, just weirder.

Think Katie Price.

Or someone trapped in a lift for a week with Michael Winner. To use a car-repair analogy:

You restore the bodywork, making it shiny, bright and perfect, so the 70-year-old vintage car looks like it’s just rolled off the production line.

But for the engine, you just change the oil and use a few untested additives that you pour into the petrol tank.

Additives that you can’t see work as they are, supposedly, doing their job on the inside.

But the wear and tear of daily driving is still taking its toll. You don’t replace worn or broken parts.

You have a gorgeous, new-looking car but the mechanics are just as shot to hell as those of other cars of its age.

With a real car, you can replace parts as it ages.

This isn’t yet totally possible – or even legal, probably – for humans, even with the most advanced gene, stem-cell, cloning technology.

You are born, you grow up, with luck you get old . . . then you die.

That’s life. You’re not going to change it by getting the best paint-job money can buy.

Nora Johnson’s novels, Soul Stealer & The De Clerambault Code ( available from Amazon in paperback/ eBook (€0.89; £0.77) and iBookstore. Profits to Cudeca

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