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Not with a bang ...

After twelve years of Webdiary, it's time to hang up the green eyeshades. Each of us in turn has found too many other things to do to devote enough time to the site to keep it alive: latterly, only Richard has regularly contributed and edited other's contributions, and now he too is tiring.

Thanks to all of you that have put in energy, time and writings over the years. So many of you have done so many good (and bad) things that have made up what Webdiary is and was, that it's invidious to pick out more than the top few. So, thanks in particular to Richard Tonkin, Fiona Reynolds, Hamish Alcorn and Craig Rowley for editing, and to Nigel Sim for keeping the technology working. Thanks of course to Margo for letting us take her name and brainchild not quite in vain. Thanks to the rest of you for taking part.

Comments are now (or should be) closed on all blog entries on the site except this one, and Richard's new post from yesterday - let me know if you find any exceptions! I'll close this off too in a week or so, then just leave the site up for historic reference.

With the aforementioned and the rest of you being spread across Australia from Adelaide to Townsville and beyond, it may be difficult to arrange a physical wake, but if there's enough who can make it to Sydney some weekend before Christmas, maybe we can do that ... 

Best wishes

David Roffey 


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A week and a day on ... comments (and the site) are closed to new entries. So long, and thanks again. 

Why not, with a bang?

Thanks dear Psych, we had fun didn't we, learnt stuff and all that. You know where to find me, don't forget them reds we was going to share.

Pecks A 

Reds (under beds?)

Dear Sir,

Them reds don't stand a snowflake's chance.

I shall let you know when I am next visiting Emerald City...

Dear Albatross

Justin, you have been, are, and always will be, one of the reasons that I shall always cherish my time with Webdiary. Your wicked wit and outrageous charm have helped me smile even when things have seemed seriously dire.

Bloody hell, now you've got me weeping into my keyboard. Awa' wi' ye, laddie!

To you, and to all my Webdiary friends - and foes:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Bye bye - and thanks for all them fishies

Poor old Weird Dairy, she's finished. Not surprising though, cause I was driving me potomac past Weird Diary the udder day, when I stopped and noticed all her fences were in a state of disrepair, not an animal in sight, paint peeling off the uninhabited homestead walls, and the front gate swinging in the breeze with an ASIC form 6010 nailed to it. She looked sad, and I really missed them dear animals. I wondered where they went, them animals.

Anyway, I was about to  drive off when I noticed movement on the front veranda, it was a young girl, she appeared forlorn and undernourished, so I wandered up the weed infested path and we swapped hellos and names. As it turned out Heidi had been stranded at the Dairy since her uncle, iHarry, sold off all them dear old animals to the local slaughter house - for a bundle of cash. He hasn't been seen since, and Heidi was homesick - she dearly wanted to get back to Mt Kosciusko, I think. 

I was totally devastated to hear that all them animals I used to feed and play with got topped (and rather brutally I was told), but life can be like that, even for homo saps, so you best be careful. After I stopped crying Heidi wiped my cheeks with her very last tissue, she was so sweet, and very skinny. It was then she begged me for something to eat, so I handed over me flask of double malt and suggested she try growing Apples. Heidi immediately sculled the malt, and then told me to fuck off - life can be like that, even for animals.

Anyway, I dived back into the potomac, hit the gas and promptly saw a mangy old wombat wandering across the road. Had I not been preoccupied with regrets of handing over that flask I may have been able to stop in time, but unfortunately that mangy old chunk of life instantly became a colourful work of art, splatted all over the show - an ingenious product of homo sap engineering, style and comfort, combined with carelessness and stupidly...

...but life can be like that.

Bye bye Weird Dairy, she was fun, entertaining and informative - an education, or maybe a digital Chautauqua of sorts - an experience worth living - thank you Richard and Fiona, and all those who cultivated her.

Michael, here's a site that may be of interest to you:

Helium is a community where active, engaging writers share their best quality work across a spectrum of knowledge. Helium’s supportive community members provide feedback, mentoring, and training. Our writers have outlets ranging from autos to travel, from poetry to creative writing, to political debates. Writers whose quality rises to the top are even eligible for paid assignments through Helium Content Source.

So long mate

Justin PM me old mate, it's been good to know you, as far as anyone can know another in the ether.

Nothing goes on forever. There were some good times, and some bad. Who could ever forget MBD? Kath, that great mind and musician Roger Fedyk  with both of whom we remain friends. Frances Kendall and her unique style. Scotty Dunmore who did more at a time when twas said he should have done less. He'll know what I mean.

Now there's one old farmhouse you might see gleaming white on the western plains. No peeling paint there me lad,  and the fences and beeves are in the good hands of a true Clancy.

As for the good Scot, he is still making music. Last night he got down three semitones below Robeson's Gilead, so beautiful it brought tears to this old girl's eyes.

We plan to battle on on the plains. El  NIno is on the way back 'tis said, and the dust is beginning to fly again - but the Scot will not be moved - so I will hang in there with him, till the heavens open again.

How sweet it is the sound of falling rain

I never thought I'd hear the sound again 

-- from a poem After Drought by Canberra Poet Sue  Edgar that he set to music. He plans to record it, but he might have left his run too late.

Anyway, if I liked the stuff I'd have one for you and other good souls I met here, but I don't, so I won't. So I'll just say, fare thee all well..

Good luck

Okay, thanks, folks.

Just one point, as a non-writer.

I just wonder if there is not some incongruity here in the idea of a new and exclusive WordPress site for the writers who didn't write here.  Margo, good luck, but I wonder...

I'm sure  the fact that you can write what you like when it's not being published on a public web site is a plus of sorts.

But is that ... excuse me if I've missed the point ... is that, or is non-publication, what being a writer's about?

Might I suggest that you have an opening here for what you refine among yourselves, a standing means of publication?  Which doesn't have to preempt other, more monetized avenues?

If you were really publishing here it might be a well-paronized pointer to whatever other publication venues you choose.

I personally can't see any way around doing the hard yards.  But then, I wouldn't know.

So, bye-bye, and good luck!

Goodnight and good luck

Webdiary kept me sane in my last couple of years of study, through the last few years of the Howard government, and through the most recent Federal elections.

One of the many ways that it kept me sane was through the friendships - such a magnificent, diverse group of people.

I feel privileged to have such friends.

I also feel privileged to have been allowed to be involved at the coalface as a moderator and, eventually, editor. Thank you to Hamish Alcorn and David Roffey for trusting me with the keys to the door, to both of you and to Craig Rowley for mentoring me and holding my hand when the going was rough, and to Nigel Sim for responding so quickly to yells for help when glitches happened.

My very special, heartfelt thanks to Richard Tonkin for his unfailing support and encouragement through some very difficult times, and to his tenacity in keeping Webdiary going when my own life became too busy to allow much involvement.

To Margo - what can I say? Thank you for creating Webdiary: she will exist as a tribute to you forever. And I really like your idea of a writers' circle ...

bye, babe

She didn't get to her teens. Still, not bad for a kid whose creator abandoned her at 5. Lots of people to thank for that, and I've done it before.

When Richard sent me an email advising he could do it no longer, I took several very deep breaths. He asked me and other directors of Webdiary Pty Ltd to think of a decent send-off. I thought, maybe a Facebook page ...

I've felt guilty on and off about having to retire for 7 years now. But it had to happen. I'd be dead if it hadn't. I'm not burnt out any more, and have a different experience of life and its meaning.

Anyway, I felt myself getting calm and new thoughts arose. I was an internet refugee for 5 years after my retirement. The last couple I've re-subscribed to Crikey and followed from there the life of the net. And I've starting watching Insiders as someone happy to be an outsider.

Still, I find I do have a wish to be on the net somewhere. It's the actual writing I'm interested in now. Not the pace and stress of the 24 hour news cycle. And I miss reading the great Webdiary writers over the years. So I thought maybe I could join people who'd like to write to and for each other on a public writers circle. Public because why not - you never know, another person or two might enjoy a read now and then. But controlled.

How much angst went into comments and what to publish and what rules. In retrospect, I preferred the system when Webdiary was very young - readers sent in emails and I read them and published bits or all when it felt right.

So I thought how about in this writers circle only us writers could comment on each others' work. Anyone else who would like to respond would email to an address all the contributors could access. It wouldn't matter if no-one else read the new site, because we wouldn't be doing it for hits, but for us.

Anyway, I discussed this with an old and valued Webdiarist for quite a while, and she had some strange and interesting ideas on how to do a writers circle. So she's set up a basic Wordpress site and we've started talking.

To me, a new site using all the innovations since Nigel set up the independent Webdiary site could be the best way to give the old girl a decent send off. Because we wouldn't be burying her after all.

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Recent Comments

David Roffey: {whimper} in Not with a bang ... 12 weeks 5 days ago
Jenny Hume: So long mate in Not with a bang ... 12 weeks 6 days ago
Fiona Reynolds: Reds (under beds?) in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Justin Obodie: Why not, with a bang? in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Fiona Reynolds: Dear Albatross in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Michael Talbot-Wilson: Good luck in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Fiona Reynolds: Goodnight and good luck in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 2 days ago
Margo Kingston: bye, babe in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 6 days ago