Author Salman Rushdie's Stabbing Turns Peaceful Literary Retreat Into Turmoil – The Quint

Author Salman Rushdie’s Stabbing Turns Peaceful Literary Retreat Into Turmoil – The Quint

Salman Rushdie ‘Pulling Through’, Defiant Humour Intact: Author’s Ex-Wife, Son · Salman Rushdie Embodied Freedom: Shashi Tharoor, Taslima Nasreen, …
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105 and more determined than ever – ‘It feels the same as 40’ |

Age is how you wear it, and at 105, Edna Harwood is still going strong. In her Waikato home of more than 50 years, Harwood sits on a sofa chair surrounded by a birthday gathering of 20 of her nearest and dearest family and friends on Tuesday. “It doesn’t feel that different at all. It feels the same as 40,” she remarks. The home is like a treasure chest, full of possessions and mementos from past birthdays, including her notable centenary. Harwood does not disappoint when it comes to providing a generous dose of humour and wit. “Don’t forget, everybody – the lady of 105 still has all her own teeth!” READ MORE: * See how flesh-eating bacteria ‘destroyed’ this Botched patient’s nose * Poppy Day 2021: Stories from soldier’s lost World War II diary * Former mayor labels bid to rename town square a personal vendetta She talks about how several years ago, a hospital appointment led to an eventual transfer to a retirement village, but it was not to be for long. “Anyone would run away,” Harwood says. “Why would I want to live in those places when I can just live here at my own home?” And Harwood is not joking: She escaped from the young carer who was supervising her on a daily walk. “I was a mischief … [They] weren’t happy with me after that,” she says. Born in Palmerston North on August 16, 1917, she has been strong-minded ever since, cheerfully proclaiming that she used to out-smart other school kids in her day. She was the middle child between her brother and sister, but her brother was killed in action. Harwood would go on to have a knack for serving others, a quality that would appear again in later years. During World War II, she gave birth to five children over five years with her late husband, Allan Harwood. She chuckles, stating that she only married once and that even meeting Allan could have gone in a different direction if it wasn’t for her sister introducing the pair when they were in their 20s. “I suppose I felt sorry for him,” she jokes. It was Allan who Edna credits with introducing her to their most influential venture – horses. During the 1970s, Allan and Edna established Riding for the Disabled (RDA), a programme designed to help children with disabilities to gain support and connection from animals. Allan and Edna were an unstoppable pair when it came to equestrian sport, with Allan becoming a recognised figure within the sport in Aotearoa. The couple would regularly head overseas for events. Over the past several decades, more trying times included the loss of Allan and also three of her children, along with many of her childhood friends as the years took their toll. Burying a child especially is never easy, she says. “It was very difficult.” But the charismatic 105-year-old gently flicks each of her feet up and down, declaring her ambition to get back up walking at some point. Life to her now is all about doing what she can to help others, she says. Regardless of age, Harwood’s character hasn’t changed. She has her own Facebook page and was even given an iPhone for her 101st birthday with hopes of keeping up with the technology of today. That is Harwood to a T, her family say – she never slows down and is “more determined than ever”. “See you next year!” Harwood calls out, as her well-wishers depart.
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‘Rushdie in critical condition but defiant sense of humour intact’: Son Zafar Rushdie

Salman Rushdie’s health condition is still serious, but his characteristically feisty and com…
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