Sweet 66 for Limerick's birthday girl Celia Holman Lee

Style queen extols the virtues of growing old

Áine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Áine Fitzgerald

Email:

aine.fitzgerald@limerickleader.ie

Sweet 66 for Limerick's birthday girl Celia Holman Lee

Cheers! Celia Holman Lee pictured with her husband Ger, is celebrating her 66th birthday

THE first lady of fashion in Limerick, Celia Holman Lee, is extolling the virtues of growing old, on this, her 66th birthday.

Having officially turned an old age pensioner at midnight on Thursday, the style queen said that while she no longer feels 21, she still only feels in her 40s.

“It’s my own face. I’m holding onto it. I haven’t done anything to it,” laughed the glamorous grandmother, speaking to the Leader from her Ballysheedy home this Friday morning.

“I am feeling fantastic. I have a little bit of a winter flu but I am feeling fantastic and I personally think it’s only a number. I say to myself there aren’t enough hours in the day for me. I live life to the full and you must never, ever, let age be a barrier.”

According to the model agent, there are plenty of positives that come with the aging process - the most notable being contentment.

“You know yourself more - you know your confidence. Nobody can shake my confidence now. When you are younger you are insecure and unsure of yourself in life and love and business. I’m not any of those things now. I am as confident as I can be. The greatest gift I have is health to enjoy my four grandchildren.”

While she does feel exercise has contributed to her good health, good discipline regarding keeping fit, she says, “come in waves for me”. Healthy eating, however, is a constant.

“I go through three weeks of walking and doing weights and then another three weeks I do nothing - I’m normal like everybody else. But what I do try to do is eat as healthy as I possibly can - I really, really do and I take plenty of vitamins. I take all the oil vitamins that are out there - vitamins for my bones. The body is like an engine - you have to keep it oiled. Everything I put on my face has an oil content.”

She does enjoy a little tipple now and again though.

“I love my red wine. Life is a bit too short at my end to give it up. I love a good Merlot!”

While you might think Limerick’s style queen would be spending the day getting preened and pampered in a luxury spa, or lunching with the ladies at some glitzy establishment, workaholic Celia has her sleeves rolled up.

“We have the Mid West Bridal Exhibition coming up in the New Year which is a huge thing for us and Limerick so I am here tying up a few pieces in relation to that but then I am stopping later on and the grandchildren are coming over - we have a big cake and candles.

“What you have to understand about me is I am working constantly since I was 15  - it’s only later in life I have taken proper time off. It’s like training an old horse or dog to do something - they won’t stop and I can’t stop and I have no intention of stopping!”

Despite being blessed with good health over six decades, Celia was struck down with pneumonia during the summer.

“For the first time in my life I was knocked out for three weeks. I was at home for three and a half weeks. I was bored out of my mind but I knew I was sick and I had to get better. It was in July and we had a week of fine weather so I sat in the garden and I did a bit of reading. I tried to calm down, which is unusual for me, and I did. I’m strong willed but I knew I had to get better and I knew the only way to get better was to rest and that’s what I did!”

And what about the perks of becoming an old age pensioner - has the bus pass come in handy yet?

“I was in Brown Thomas a few weeks ago and I was all dolled up with my make-up done and hair and I felt quite glam in myself and didn’t my purse fall out of my hand and I looked down and looking up at me was my bus pass.

"This young girl looked down and looked up at me and I said to her: ‘I tell you something darling - somebody here has got something wrong’. Here I am with the bus pass thinking ‘I’m not that age’.”

While she hasn’t used her own pass just yet, she has travelled to Dublin with her husband Ger on his pass on a number of occasions.

“Say what we like about the government but I’m grateful and delighted to have the bus pass!”