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Olivia Riley was said to be the world's oldest blogger at 108 years old. Older than the previous record by at least 9 years, she was born in 1899 and died on July 14, 2008, when she signed off for her last time. She lived in Woy Woy, Australia.

Stories to tell

She started blogging last February. Kind of a late start at 107 in the online world, proving anyone can learn. Although physically frail, she was mentally alert. Olive told stories about her experience during WWII, raising three children, and working in the outback as a station cook. She sung a "happy song" ever day to keep herself cheery, and passed on many smiles to the thousands of readers she gained in the short amount of time she was a blogger.


She jokingly called her blogs "blobs," making a total of 74 posts. She even posted YouTube video of her singing and talking. Her communications even frequented clear across the globe to the United States and Russia. The title of her blog site, The Life of Riley, has seen so much traffic the weekended of her death it has crashed.

Exert from her 72nd blog

You 21st century people live a different life than the one I lived as a youngster in the early 1900s. Take Washing Day, for instance. These days you just toss your dirty clothes into a washing machine, press a few switches, and it's done.

I remember scratching around to find a few pieces of wood to fire the copper for Mum. Sometimes I'd find a broken wooden fruit box that I'd split with a tommyhawk. Sometimes I'd gather some twigs and dead branches, and use them for firewood.

When the water in the copper began to boil, Mum would add a cupful of soap chips, and throw in a cube of Reckitt's Blue wrapped in a muslin bag to whiten the clothes. Then she put in all the dirty clothes, first rubbing out the stains with a bar of Sunlight soap. She used a corrugated washing board for that. .

Some time later, when the fire had gone out, Mum would haul the clothes, dripping wet, out of the hot water with a strong wooden copperstick, and that was jolly hard work. The clothes weighed a lot more sopping wet than when they were dry.

Then she would feed the wet washing into a machine called a mangle. It had two large rollers with a narrow gap between them, and a big metal wheel that had to be turned by hand. That was my job - and it was real hard work for a small kid.

We hung the clothes out to dry on a line strung between two trees and held up with a prop made from a forked branch. Sometimes a crow or a magpie would leave a visiting card on a clean sheet, which would have to be washed again.

Olive Riley lived for many years in a hostel and finished her last days out in a nursing home in New South Wales.


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