Sunday, January 13, 2008

Still Blogging At 96

Spain's oldest blogger, María Amelia, seemed pensive when she began making a brief video of her 96th birthday celebrations on December 23. Then she tried to blow out two candles on her decorated cake. With her first and second puffs,only one light went out She blew harder. The remaining flame flickered, but stayed alight. Several more puffs, but the candle stubbornly refused to be extinguished.

Maria Amelia's face lit up like the candle. "Dios me dió 1 año más!" ("God has given me one more year!") she exclaimed, waving her arms excitedly. You can share her spontaneous joy even if you can't understand Spanish, by viewing her latest video

Emilio Pérez Touriño, president of Spain's autonomous community of Galicia, sent a congratulatory birthday message to Amelia.

Amelia's 96th birthday marked the completion of her first year's blog, which was the previous year's gift from her grandson Daniel, who helpfully types the posts that she dictates to him.

When I interviewed her for OhmyNewsInternational a year ago, she said her name was María Amelia. Last month she revealed for the first time that her full name is María Amelia López Soliño Abente Barros. (The automated translater says it's María Amelia López Soliño Abente Mud, because the Spanish word barros means mud in English).

One year ago, Amelia was hailed as the world's oldest blogger, but since then she has been dethroned by Australia's 108-year-old Olive Riley.

Both these wonderful oldtimers have thousands of supporters reading every word they dictate, but sadly all Amelia's observations are recorded only in Galician (galego) and Olive's only in English.

Let's hope that someone fluent in both languages will offer to translate their posts for the benefit of their monolingual admirers.

* This story was first published by the British daily literary webzine "Open Writing":

** For 500 more stories, on many different subjects, please read my free e-book:

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