A Welsh globetrotter received her seventh card from the Queen last week when she celebrated her 106th birthday.
Muriel Woods, a great-grandmother who has lived in the Cecil Court Care home in Kew for seven years, was joined by friends and family on Sunday, January 5, when staff provided cake and champagne.
Mrs Woods, who was a head cashier at the Albert Hall cinema in Swansea, said lots of people came to the care home to celebrate with her.
She said: “All the people I knew were there and it was lovely.”
Mrs Woods met her husband, Cyril, when he used to come to the cinema and one day asked to walk her home.
The couple had two children, Paul, who died in 2003, and Dorothy, who now lives on the Isle of Wight.
Mrs Woods, a talented seamstress, made many rugs, clothes and artwork by hand – many of which she gave to people as presents.
She said: “I was told that the rugs were beautiful and transformed the room.”
She created framed artwork, which she displays on her bedroom wall in Cecil Court.
She said: “I wanted to do the Mona Lisa and I went to the special shop and got all the bits but my husband said ‘One stitch out of place and that wonderful smile will disappear and it will be a sneer.’
“I believed every word he said so I put it back in the bag and took it back to the shop.”
After her husband passed away Mrs Woods moved to England from Wales and lived in properties in Mortlake and Barnes, which she thought was lovely.
Shortly before her 90th birthday she went on a lone trip to Tasmania, changing at Melbourne, for the winter months.
She said: “When I was young I travelled a lot – I went to Australia, Tasmania, Gibralta. I did all I could when I was young.
“I think determination and stubbornness is the reason I am still here today. I was never idle.”
Care home manager Fiona Saadat said Mrs Woods was a resident who inspired the team to work towards a centre of excellence.
She said: “She is a lovely lady and we had a fantastic time on her birthday.”