A week ago, this was almost a different story.

Elizabeth Simms, who turned 100 years old on Thursday, took a fall in her house last Sunday and hit her head on a door, slipping unconscious for a short time. Luckily, her granddaughter Caryn was there and as a GP knew exactly what to do.

"I honestly think it was an act of divine intervention" Caryn told The Evening Times. "I just happened to come round, and was about to leave, and Gran said something and I turned around just in time."

"A good thing it wasn't her son, Graham - he faints at the sight of blood, so that wouldn't be very helpful" laughs her daughter-in-law, Angela.

In the nick of time indeed - Elizabeth had a big birthday to celebrate, and as this paper hits the shelf she will be celebrating with 38 of her family members at Glasgow's Crowne Plaza, raising a toast to 100 years of Elizabeth Simms.

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Elizabeth was born on the 28th of November 1919, in a town near Letterkenny in Donegal.

On Thursday, along with her letter from Queen Elizabeth (who she jokes was named after herself), she also received a letter from Irish President Michael D. Higgins as when she was born, Ireland was still a part of the United Kingdom.

This makes for an interesting centenary: her son, James, tells us that a centenary team paid a house call to meet with Elizabeth personally, making sure that their letter was going to the right Elizabeth who was both a British and Irish citizen.

"They were very thorough indeed. But we got there in the end, and mum got her letter from the Queen and a telegram from the Home Secretary. She is a big fan of the royal family. Although the letter from Michael D. Higgins comes with a bit of money, too!" he laughs.

Elizabeth came to Glasgow with her husband, James, in 1964. He was a farmer, and "there was a lot more work then in Glasgow than there was in Donegal" she says.

Elizabeth has had a momentous life, living through two world wars, an Ireland that moved from union to Free State to Republic, and a Great Depression.

In 1923, Elizabeth emigrated with her family to the US before having to return to Ireland in 1933. Ten years on, she married James, and they came to settle in Glasgow.

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Elizabeth worked as a civil servant during the war working as a typist, where she achieved 80 words per minute at Pitman's shorthand and worked in London during the Blitz. It was these skills that she used to help her son, James, when she typed out his PHD thesis on an old typewriter. She remains both political and active -her postal vote arrived on the day of her birthday, and she reads the paper cover to cover every day.

"I am very pleased to be here" said Elizabeth. "My family and my faith are important to me" So too is fashion - her first reaction after her fall last Sunday was to lament that Caryn had to "throw off her good coat".

Surrounded by her family, Elizabeth is a beacon of strength and calm. To this day she wakes up at 7am and gets dressed; she has her hair done weekly, attends the Kinning Park Parish Church in Plantation Square every weekend. She is a woman we can all look to for inspiration.

Happy birthday Elizabeth!