At the age of 105, Ivena Smailes knows what she wants. And what she wants is a hot fireman with tattoos to bring her cake.


Fair enough.

Ivena, who is known locally as ‘Aunty Ivy’, celebrated her 105th birthday on Wednesday (August 17 – she’s a feisty Leo, obviously) at the Addison Court Care Home in Wesley Grove, Crawcrook, with her family, including daughter Jane, and friends.

Her birthday wish was fulfilled when a burly fireman from the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service climbed through her third floor window and delivered her Victoria sponge cake.

‘Ivena’s been with us for three years now, and she’s got a fantastic sense of humour, just look at her party today,’ care home worker Debra Carter said.

‘On her bucket list this year she wanted a cake delivered by a fireman with tattoos. We’ve managed to find one and the fire brigade have been fantastic about it; they were arguing over who was going to climb the ladder and deliver it to her.

‘For her birthday last year she tried to get us to climb a tree. She always tries to find something we can’t do.’

Ivy didn’t just get one fireman though – the whole crew came along to enjoy her birthday buffet.

It’s fair to say the birthday girl, who was born in 1911 and has lived through two world wars, had a great time.

‘No one would believe she’s 105, she doesn’t look it and she’s got a fantastic sense of humour. She even had her first selfie today to celebrate,’ said Debra.

Yep, we bet Ivy’s got some stories to tell.

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Brent Lindeque
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and man in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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