SHE’s survived two recessions in her lifetime and two lockdowns this past year but as she celebrates her 70th birthday today, Limerick's queen of style is feeling “absolutely fantastic”.
Covid-19 may have put a damper on Celia Holman Lee's plans for a lavish birthday bash which was due to take place last night with “the whole town going”, but, as Celia points out, she will be 70 for the next 12 months so there’s plenty of time to make up for lost plans.
“I feel very proud to have reached where I am now,” Celia asserts. “I’m a bit worried about getting older - I don’t want to go anywhere too soon. It is 70. It is a milestone.”
Does she feel 70?
“Not in a thousand years,” comes the rapid-fire response.
The reason she feels so good for her age, she says, is down to “hard work”.
“Working the brain. The brain is everything,” she points out. “You keep your mind active. You keep your body active and you don’t let stuff into your life.”
Reflecting on life since Covid struck in March, particularly the two lockdowns, Celia admits it’s been “very, very difficult”.
“It was extremely difficult the first time. We tick into the Rose of Tralee, we tick into Riverfest, the National Ploughing etc etc - lots of TV work and that was shut down completely because I couldn’t travel, I wasn’t allowed travel with the cocooning.
“If I ever hear that word again I shall scream. Cocoon, me?”
The back story, she says, is that “financially we went over a cliff because everything we had (income-wise) was wiped out”.
“Am I grateful to God? I am that we are at this stage in our lives, Ger and I, we have our own home and our own car. Thank God Cecile and Asta’s husbands’ jobs were safe. But it was touch and go I know for so many people and my heart went out to them.”
Looking ahead to the big day on Wednesday, at the moment Celia’s plan is for a small, intimate gathering which will include dinner with her family.
The model agent has five grandchildren who are a massive part of her life and she is looking forward to spending more time with them.
“They are phenomenal. When things are right or wrong, good or bad, I look at them and nothing matters. And they are great fun - fantastic fun.”
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