VARIETY has been the spice of life for Diana Fawkes, celebrating her 100th birthday.

Perhaps that should be the life of spies, as she worked as a wartime secretary at MI5, the domestic secret service.

Mrs Fawkes, of Park Lane, Twyford, turned 100-years-old on January 27 but chose to have her cake and balloons a few days later with her granddaughter, great-granddaughter and carers.

Known as ‘Possum’ after climbing trees as a child, she had been born in Kensington to Mary and Graham Weir.

“I was a secretary at the war office at MI5,” she said. “We were at Compton for 15 years where my husband was rector at Compton and Shawford. When he retired we moved here in 1958.”

She was one of four children alongside brothers John and Nigel and sister Anna.

Mrs Fawkes has two children, Caroline and Nigel, with her late husband George, whom she married in 1942.

Her granddaughter, Jojo Grebert, who is one of four grandchildren with George, Jon and Richard, made a special birthday breakfast of toast and homemade marmalade for her grandmother accompanied by her two-year-old daughter Tamsin.

Mrs Fawkes is also great-grandmother to Tamsin’s older brother, Roscoe.

Jojo said: “She had her card from the Queen on Monday and has been sent so many cards from lots of different people. I remember coming to this house when we were children and we’d spend hours getting lost in the huge garden. We’ve all got so many wonderful memories of her here.”

Her regular Bluebird carers, Zoe Morgan and Rosemary Pike, have been coming to Mrs Fawkes’s house since last June. Claire Murphy, owner of Bluebird care, said: “It’s so lovely that she’s been able to celebrate such an achievement at her own home.”

Mrs Fawkes said: “I suppose I feel a bit older but it’s not really that different.”