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Irony Alert!: This blog may be a tad contrary.

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June 21, 2010


Will Owen

Fare well. I will truly miss your commentary and reflections on Centralia. I've followed you for several years--not quite since the beginning--and found your posts thought-provoking, amusing, irritating, delightful, and too infrequent. My feedreader will burn a little less brightly from now on. If you start up again from Melbourne, please keep your common reader in mind. Will


I guess the one thing I brought back from Alice, apart from a slight yearning for something that I'm not sure actually existed in the first place, was a question that still hasn't been answered "Why don't they listen to Aboriginal people?" - left or right side of politics.

We had friends in Alice who said their neighbours were friendly but had told them explicitly that they wouldn't be making friends with them because they'd had too many friends leave and it was too hard. Lucky for us there were still lots of people who were friendly despite the fact that we were blow-ins. I can see why people go there and never leave, but also I know why we stayed for two and didn't take the optional extra year. We didn't even have Target back then (we left at the end of 2005). I want to go back and visit, but I'm also worried that everyone I knew will be gone. It's that kind of place.


Thanks, Will -- I'll post details on this site if I start another blog or relocate this one.

As I said on FB recently, if only someone would pay me to be me. Then I would blog everyday.

Mindy -- yes and yes. I think people go to central Australia and project what they want to see (self-included) -- their own ideologies. I do think you have to immerse yourself rather than fly-in, fly-out to understand some of the nuances of remote contexts. And if you listen to Aboriginal people, they may not say what you want to hear, and they may say a whole lot of different and contradictory things, so it's no easy conversation. (Or they may not say anything at all or appear to agree with everything you say.)

When I first moved to Alice, my friends and I used to comment on the 'aloofness' of the old Alice brigade, but I understand it more now. Most of those people will always be there. You could find the others you knew have moved on. I tried explaining to a friend who left a couple of years before me that 'the life' we knew had largely gone, but she didn't believe it until she came back and found she hardly knew anyone there anymore.

Target in Alice was big news, believe me. Before that, you had to go to Broome for Target.


I've enjoyed reading your blog for the last few years and will miss you popping into my feed reader. As a New Strayan who hasn't visited Centralia yet I've followed your journey with interest and felt I've really gained insights from your writing. Thanks.


Your Territory tales were a window on a place I only know by its people. Thank you for the thousand posts and welcome back to Melbourne, El, and I do hope you start another blog. You have the digital storytelling knack.


I was a latecomer to this blog, but have relished every post. I'm sorry to say goodbye to it.

However I must disagree. 50 is still a bloody long way away. Please.


Best wishes and good luck!


I have loved reading your blog, found it thought-provoking and challenging, amusing and a great insight on a life I'm not likely to live. I'll miss your insights, and also being part of your daily life - it's amazing how much I felt I kept up with you from the posts!


Thanks El - I've really enjoyed your blog, and often been astonished and admiring of your honesty, being of the rather soft-left persuasion. Some of the challenges and discoveries you wrote about really rang true for me, although I went the wet tropical route rather than hot & dry, and feel I had it much easier. I'm still struggling with the decision about moving back to Melbourne - it's always in one's blood, I think. Good luck with the writing - presumably I'll keep track of you via FB.


Thanks, peeps. Molly -- it's not for wanting there to be more convincing leftist solutions, and who knows, perhaps we'll see some now that Julia is in power! Have you really moved back to Melbs? I thought the lower tropics might be more stimulating than the desert, in some ways. As for honesty -- probably more unwise tactlessness, at times.

Margaret -- the good news is that there are six years' worth of posts archived here online, so you can keep reading them till you're fifty, as long as I don't delete this blog.

the L-girl

great read Eleanor. But I get why it had to end. I miss you in the Alice - rode on my own this morning - me and the ranges and the gaps and the cockatoos.


Where is mad Gav when you need him?


Lurking here has inspired me to plan a trip to Alice Springs and surrounds (late July), and to buy a bike. All the best to you - you'll be missed.


Thanks, Pam -- I'm glad to hear that I have encouraged cycling and NT tourism in these ways.


Heh! I'll raise a pint to you in the pub at Toddy's.



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