lunes, 22 de enero de 2007

The World's Oldest Blogger

Interview by Eric Shackle, retired australian journalist (87 years old) for The South Korea citizen reporters' journal, OhmyNewsInternational.

World's Oldest Blogger Tells All

Maria Amelia, 95, talks about life and the Internet

Maria Amelia, the lively 95-year-old Spanish grandmother who has achieved global fame as the oldest of the world's 63.2 million bloggers, has given an exclusive interview to OhmyNews International.

We emailed our questions to Liz Parry, editor of Spain's leading English-language newspaper, SUR in English, who kindly translated them into Spanish, which we then sent to Maria. She responded in Spanish, and Liz translated her answers into English.

Maria's blog, which she says was given to her by her "stingy" grandson as a birthday present, has a big following in Spanish-speaking countries, including South America, and in the Netherlands, where a Dutch translation is posted. In a single month her blog chalked up 51,000 hits.

Maria recounts her stories, in which she discusses current politics, her daily life, and memories of past events, to her grandson, who posts them for her.

She discovered the Internet a year ago. "I think it's great that you can find everything there," she said. "You can read the news and about people's lives. It's the best discovery that I've made in my life.

"It all surprises me. It seems like a dream, like witchcraft. If my grandparents arose they would hallucinate (when they first listened to a gramophone, they thought there was someone inside it)."

In less than a week's blogging, she recalled the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, the "black tide" of fuel oil from the tanker Prestige which broke in two and sank off Galicia's Death Coast in 2002, bulls in A Coruna (formerly La Coruna) and old-time gallantry.

Here, then, is our interview:

- Hello, Senora Maria Amelia. Is that your full name? Google shows hundreds of people called Maria Amelia.

Yes, that's my full name.

- Are you pleased that you have achieved international fame as the world's oldest blogger?

Yes, I am pleased, but if there were others older than me I'd be pleased too.

- When did you post your first blog entry?

On Dec. 23, when I was given the blog. It was my 95th birthday and my grandson gave me it as a gift. Then we got to work. He told me to start talking and I did, and within minutes people were there talking to me! I was amazed, I'd never have believed it. I thought two or three people might answer me....

- What made you decide to become a blogger?

For something to do. I thought it was a nice thing to do, amusing, entertaining. ... I wanted to meet new people, and now I meet people all over the world! When I started I didn't realize it would be people everywhere, or I might not have gone ahead, but now I have got used to it.

- How much time do you devote to blogging, and do you enjoy doing so?

I enjoy doing it. When my grandson has time, I talk and he types for me.

- Would you consider getting someone to translate your Spanish blogs and posting an English edition? I'm sure that would attract thousands of English-speaking visitors to your site, and they would enjoy reading what you write.

I don't speak any other languages. People write to me in English and I can't reply to them. Who would have thought it?

- What do you write about?

Anything that occurs to me. Everything.

- Do you receive many emails as feedback? Do you reply to them?

Lots. I can't reply to them all, we'd need all day just to reply to the things people send. If I could, I would reply to them all!

- How do you spend your day when you are not sitting in front of your computer?

I watch television, listen to the radio, look at the scenery a bit. I can't get out much at the moment because it's winter... today for example it's terrible weather for going out.

- The 94-year-old Swede, Allan Loof, who is now the world's second oldest blogger, told me when I interviewed him last month that he intends to write his autobiography. Have you any plan to do the same?

No, I am just an ordinary woman.

- What are your earliest memories?

My first memory is of hearing people talk about a war, which was the World War, the First World War. I would be about three... And then when I was five or six, there was 'flu. Everybody had it, everybody in the village was ill.

We had to take San Marcos (St Mark) out in procession -- he was the patron saint, and prayed for the people who were dying of 'flu.

They used to starve people. It was all tea, tea, tea... that's what they gave people, they weren't allowed to eat. We were all ill and my father looked after us. When he went for a rest, I would go up very quietly, because we lived in a two storey house, very quietly... and there was a box of biscuits on the sideboard in the dining room, and I would stuff myself with biscuits and go back down again.

I was the first to get over the 'flu. The doctor came and said "This one is doing best, this one is better..." And the others were weak from so much tea. And I got better.

When my parents realized that the biscuits were gone, they asked me who'd eaten them. "Me. I ate them." "Well, you got better, so obviously what this fever needs is feeding."

There was a hunchback who lived opposite, and he ate two fried eggs and died. That's why they started just giving us tea. It was ignorance.

- Have you ever traveled abroad? Have you visited Australia?

No, not to Australia. I've been to Italy twice. It's lovely, I saw it all. And I've often been to Portugal, I know the whole country. And France, I know the Cote d'Azur.

- As a great-grandfather myself, I know how delighted you will be when your first great-grandchild is born. Can you tell me a little about your family?

I am looking forward to being a great-grandmother. The main thing is that the baby is healthy, that's what matters.

- Do you have any eyesight problems? That would be a dreadful handicap, particularly to anyone working with a computer.

I am short-sighted and I wanted to have an operation, but it wasn't possible. I can't have an operation for cataracts or short-sightedness because I am taking some medicine, and if I stop taking it I could have a stroke. So I struggle on, but sometimes it is not easy. I can't see too well, I have to hold things close, or make the fonts bigger.

- Would you like to send a message to the world's 63.2 million bloggers, all of them younger than you?

I'd like to send them all greetings and hugs and wish them happiness. And may the Peace of the Lord be with us all -- that is the greatest happiness possible. Peace, harmony and good sense.

- Is there anything else you would like me to write about you?

There is nothing more to say, my life is a very simple one. I was a girl, I grew up....

Congratulations and best wishes, Senora, from Eric in Sydney, and OhmyNews in Seoul, South Korea.

Eric Shackle is a retired journalist whose hobby is searching the Internet and writing about it. He is author of The World's First Multi-National e-Book, His work has been published by the New York Times (US), The Observer (UK), Globe and Mail (Canada), Straits Times (Singapore), and the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia). He writes for webzines in US, Canada, UK, South Africa, South Korea and Australia, and is copy editor of Anu Garg's Seattle-based A Word A Day free newsletter, which is e-mailed five days a week to more than 600,000 wordlovers in 200 countries.

Update 05/03/2007 -

68 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

Greetings from the Netherlands, May God bless you, Erie

Anónimo dijo...

This is wonderful! I found you thru my sitemeter -- saw the unfamiliar URL and here I am. Now I can go back to my blogpage and tell my visitors about the treasure I just found.

Being able to transfer your page into English so I could read it made all the difference, thank you for that very nice consideration.

I am also an "older" blogger, but then I am *only* 76 years old. Oh, and I live in Wisconsin, USA.

Anónimo dijo...

It's me, Lorraine, again. I am going to give you my blog URL, but darn it, I only have it published in English......

I'm going to go back now and post your address on my blogpage ---
(that's me)

Tess Termulo dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.
Anónimo dijo...

How I wish I know Spanish.

But I still love your site. You are wonderful.

Have a happy life! :-)


Helloo!! Greetings From Northern Cyprus,Turkey!!!
Oh My God, You are so sweet! It's so good to know wise people are with us.If you have time visit me sometime :)

God Bless You,
Love & Hugss

Anónimo dijo...

que exemplo de vida...felicidades e que Deus te abençõe!!



Anónimo dijo...

Buena mañana Amelia, gracias tanto por tomar la época de poner sus pensamientos en su Web page para que leamos. ¡Usted tiene mucha sabiduría y tanto compartir! Me casan una madre de dos que vive en América. Somos suecos noruego y vivido en Noruega por diez años antes de mover aquí hace dos años, estoy consiguiendo utilicé a los cambios aquí. También me siento que el Internet era la cosa más grande que descubrí siempre en mi curso de la vida. es tan lejos todo el abarcar, todo inclusivo. ¡Espero que usted pueda entender mi español, yo esté intentando! ¡Ahora estoy aprendiendo español simplemente para leer sus pensamientos en las cosas, usted tengo mucha sabiduría! Qué historia usted lleva a cabo en sus muchos años en esta tierra. No hay hoy vivo de mucha gente que puede hablar de la epidemia española de la gripe, y la guerra mundial una. ¡Ululación! ¿Así pues, continúe su buena escritura, y tengo una pregunta para usted si usted por favor? ¿Qué usted piensa en la situación actual en Iraq? ¿Usted nos piensa podría hacer cualquier cosa sobre él mejor que estamos haciendo? ¿Usted nos piensa debe tener un presidente de la mujer? Qué lo hacen usted pensar acaba de terminar la guerra allá. ¿No soy una persona política por sí mismo, sino que me preguntaba lo que tendría que una mujer sabia como usted decir en la guerra en Iraq? El dios le bendice y continúa su trabajo agradable, usted es maravilloso, amor de Jill en el Puget Sound, Gig Harbor, Washington, USA

Anónimo dijo...

Hello Maria, Greetings from Germany. Read about your blog in an online article. It is great, that you deal with new media. Keeps you younger...

Anónimo dijo...

hello maria
its shows to the world that age is not a barrier if you have the will to learn.

have a good life from all the billion indians from india and abroad

sampath77 dijo...

Dear Grandma,
I am from Chennai, in Tamilnadu State, in India. I am facinated by your rich life truths. Yours are not mere blogs to be brushed aside. They are churned out of long real lived experiencs. Wish you a long healthy life o unfailing memory and expression.

Anónimo dijo...

Ola Senora,

Greetings from the UK. I've just seen a story of you on the Yahoo UK site. Great to find someone like you on the www. It's refreshing to see someone as yourself so wordly wise and eliquent. A great blog keep up the good work. I wish you long life and happiness.

God bless you!

Steve, Manchester, UK.

Unknown dijo...

Hi Maria,
Do you understand English? I am writing from Melbourne, Australia. I have been thinking lately that I would like to learn Spanish, travel and explore...and your blog has inspired me, and reminded me that life is very short, and perhaps I should take some risks. One thing in your article, however, that made me feel sad was your comments about your age and's so depressing that everyone is so hung up on their appearance, don't you think? Is it really the only thing that matters? I hope not. And I hope you can see beyond your age and not let it get you down. Well, you've probably got a million messages to read through, but I just wanted to tell you that you have inspired me...I love the passion of Spain, I want to be part of it, you have reminded me that this is possible and I think I should just do it!!

Anónimo dijo...

Señora Dona Amélia,
Os meus saúdos!

Quedo moito satisfeito por ver que non considera a idade un impedimento para a aventura e que continúa a gustar de vivir.
A miña Nai, só con 4 anos menos, é igualmente persoa de moita vida e alegría.
Só cos ordenadores… quedou farta nos longos anos en que tivo que traballar con eles!
É pena, pois abriríanlle un inmenso mundo de contactos.
De Portugal, deséxolle as maiores felicidades e moitos máis anos na net.

Henrique Trindade

Anónimo dijo...

Dear Amelia, I a maltese man and I am very pleased to hear of a wome of your age catching up with todays technology, I am 50 years old so I do know how hard it is to start on the internet late. I read on your blog that you complain about old age, well please rmeber that once you are still active and enkoy good health you are better off then other people of your age. My Mother at 91 suffers from acute Demensia and she is nothing more then a living vegitable. God Bless you dear Amelia and keep on blogging.

Chris dijo...

God bless you, I think you are wonderful! And God bless your grandson for helping you. The world could use a whole lot more people like you!! Chris from the USA

@PCArtCreativity dijo...

Hello Senora
I love your blog and what you write.
God Bless You
((hugs and kisses))

Anónimo dijo...

Hello from Queensland, Australia.
I was very excited to see you on the news yesterday.
Enjoy the internet - I am only 71 and have been using internet for more than 8 years to keep in touch with people and also to learn more.
God Bless.


Anónimo dijo...

Greetings from India!!
You are an inspiration ...Keep on going and God bless you ... Regards

Carol dijo...

Congratulations, Maria, on becoming part of the "information generation". I, too, think the internet is wonderful and was excited to see your story. I'm a mere 66 and live in Wisconsin USA.
I wish you well. Carol

Unknown dijo...

Hola Maria! Soy Jameson de California (pero ahora vivo en Nueva York). El razon que escrito en espanol es que estudia en el Universidad de Syracusa in Madrid por un ano.
He visto a Galacia! Fui sobre una viaje de el Camino de Santiego que termine a el Catedral de Santiego de Compostela, que bonita el botafumiero alli.
Qusiera a decir hola y tu cuentas en su blog son interesante. Bueno suerte y quedar joven!
Un abrazo,

Unknown dijo...

Maria querida Amelia, usted es una mujer hermosa no deja cualquier cosa hacer que usted piensa de otra manera. Un qué muchacho agradable su nieto debe ser. Soy la irlandesa 72 que vive cerca de la frontera mexicana en los E.E.U.U. y usted me da esperanza de una vida larga y activa. Feliz Cumpleaños

delsiglopasado dijo...

Lo primero, mi más sincera enhorabuena. Me encanta que a sus 95 años¡¡¡quien lo diría!!! le hayan premiado por su blog. Gracias por ese ejemplo que supone para mi. A mis 58...a mi también me gusta comunicarme con el mundo...
Un beso y un abrazo muy grandes!!!

Anónimo dijo...

Queridisima María Amelia: felicidades por ser la mejor, antes ya lo eras, como persona, como amiga y sobre todo por ser una buena muxíana y corcubionesa. Me acuerdo muchisimo de tí, de aquellos maravillosos dias que pasaste con Mariquiña en Las Hortensias.Espero verte dentro de algunos meses en la casa de turismo rural que vamos a abrir en los Molinos para los de esta terra Os Muños. Estas guapisima y sabes que te queremos mucho. Besos. Piita Lago.

Anónimo dijo...

El anónimo dijo: el anónimo soy yo Pia Lago y te sigo diciendo que eres la mejor.

Anónimo dijo...

Hola me llamo Marina soy de P.Blancas (Asturias)ahora accabe de leer su blog ES UNA CHULADA me gusto mucho.Si sigues asi fijo que mi abuela empieza como tu jejejeje

mi email es maramburuv@hotmailcom


Anónimo dijo...

hello my name is enrie .Im from Netherlads good bie


Anónimo dijo...

hello my name is enrie .Im from Netherlads good bie


Anónimo dijo...

¡Hola María Amelia! ¿Cómo está? ¡La he visto en España directo! Me llamo Daniel, tengo 15 años y soy de Alicante :) Debe de estar muy orgullosa de usted misma, tiene mucho arte! jaja ¡Cuídese mucho!

Anónimo dijo...

Saludos a la abuelita mas chida que hay en la internet! portese bien y no se vaya de parranda (y si se va, pos me avisa y vamos juntos!)

Anónimo dijo...

dear madam,

I came from the Philippines, a long time colony of Spain until occupied by the Americans. I heard you from the newspaper when I was on duty for my shipboard contract. I got interested when I read about you. I think it could be more interesting if you could post your blog in english.

Unknown dijo...

Really interesting person... please continue writing.


Anónimo dijo...

Hello, Madame,
I am very proud of you.
My grandmothers died at 98, long before the internet was invented.
The best part of your story is you are spending time with your grandson. That is a priceless gift you give eachother.
Praise Jesus for your blessings.
Mrs. Lorraine Lee
Boston, MA USA

0098 dijo...

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noticias dijo...

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