Friday, July 11, 2008

the world's older blogger,22049,22334438-5007132,00.html

AT 107 she is probably the world's older blogger and cyber granny Olive Riley may also lay claim to being the oldest YouTube user.

From her home on the Central Coast, the great-grandmother of seven files her The Life of Riley blog (or blob as she calls it), which has won her thousands of fans across the world.

Mrs Riley was born in 1899 in Broken Hill when Australia as a federation did not exist and NSW was still a British colony ruled by Queen Victoria.

She survived two World Wars and the Great Depression, witnessed the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, raised three children and worked any number of weird and wonderful jobs, including as an egg sorter and a station cook in western Queensland.

She is full of stories, not all of which have made the blog yet, like the time she punched a schoolmate who was teasing her about her then surname of Dangerfield.

And the time she accidentally got a station worker sacked because he was watching her through a spy glass when she, her daughter and the boss's daughter were skinny-dipping in the dam.

"All of it happened," Mrs Riley said.

"(My adventures) started even from when I was at school - lively things would happen.

"When I had the children I got a bit possessive and I wouldn't let them out of my sight. I used to take them everywhere with me - even on my jobs.

"I've got three children, umpteen grand children. I've got a lot of them and they're all nice, every one of them, and seven great grandchildren."

Mrs Riley is the first to admit she's no computer geek; in fact, she says she doesn't understand them at all.

Friend and film maker Mike Rubbo came to her with the idea of doing the blog and she relies on him and another friend from her nursing home to help her post her blogs.

"I've got no ideas about computers, no idea at all," she said.

"But Mike and that other man do and I tell them my stories and they put them on the computer.

"It's a bit of fun, although I do get a bit tired sometimes."

She is stunned by the number of people who read her blog but is thrilled by the "thousands of new friends from all over the world" that she has made.

"I thought I might have a few (readers) but I didn't think I'd have so many - but they all seem to be so happy about it," she said.

"Mike asked me for little things that I remember, and I know that the people will like them because they're not rude or stupid or anything.

"I'm sure they do enjoy them because of the replies I get. I get some real good replies. I've made a lot of friends by doing the blogs - thousands."

Mrs Riley, who will turn 108 in October, would have to be the world's oldest YouTuber as well.

She is the star of the YouTube film Olive Riley Returns to Broken Hill.

It's a short film made up of clips taken from a one-hour documentary on her called All About Olive which aired on ABC television last year.

Thousands of internet users have clicked on the YouTube site to hear her outback adventures.


Post a Comment