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World's Oldest Blogger Recalls his First Christmas Gifts
[Interview] Sweden's Allan Lööf (94) tells all to Eric Shackle (87)
Eric Shackle (Shack)     Print Article 
Published 2006-12-24 15:54 (KST)   
Due to a technical fault Allan Lööf 's surname is displayed incorrectly in this article. OhmyNews would like to apologize to Mr Lööf and Mr Shackle.  <Editor's Note>
Allan Loof (94), the world's oldest blogger, describes his first Christmas presents and explains how he came to have four dots over his name, in this exclusive interview with OhmyNews's oldest reporter, Eric Shackle, (87) of Sydney, Australia.

"My first Christmas presents were a small music box and a piece of birch chunk. The music box was of the same size as that of a tea cup with a small handle on the top. You can imagine how much it was cranked and played. While time passed, the delightful tones and therefore also the melody disappeared from my memory. But the joy of that present has never left me.

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When my Seattle friend Wordsmith Anu Garg, author of the global newsletter "A Word A Day," first read your name, he told me "Allan Loof is not only the world's oldest blogger; he must also be the world's only blogger with four dots over his name."

At the end of the 19th century my grandparents' surname was Andersson. There were eight children in the family, five boys and three girls. From the management of the ironworks came the message that the three oldest boys, Per, Magnus and Hjalmar were going to get new surnames. So they became Per Ekstrom, Magnus Ekholm and Hjalmar Lof.

One additional letter in the name Lof, an o, was given in the late 1910s. It was when my two older sisters began to work, as clerks in the newly established Swedish Turbin Factory Ljungstrom in Finspong, Sweden, "S.T.A.L." The reason for this additional letter I don't know, but I have written Loof since then, like my sisters taught me.

One further change of name for my oldest sister became implemented when she was going to be married, she changed her surname from Loof to Bjork. Her daughter also changed from Bjork to Lindqvist, when Lily's granddaughter became married the granddaughter changed from Lindqvist to Granqvist. Yes, that was how it was and how it became.

How do you pronounce Loof? Does it rhyme with the English word aloof (which has the same spelling as your name, A.Loof)?

"OO" in Loof is pronounced as the letter "U" in the word fur. O is also pronounced as the letter "I" in the word Sir.

That sounds like a pop singer pronouncing the word love -- lerf!

When did you post your first blog post?

Nov. 16, 2005.

What made you decide to become a blogger?

Because of an unexpected delay of my home page, my Webmaster suggested instead that I could start a blog, which was also what I did.

How much time do you devote to blogging?

I usually spend two hours each day.

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

Yes! of course I like to have contact with my blogfriends.

What do you write about?

That depends on what my memory records. It varies from songs, music and answering questions.

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

I get lots of emails as feedback. As for my answers, I sometimes even answered emails from a guy calling himself Anonymous. But that was only for a very short period and I abruptly stopped doing it.

I have read that you are a musician and composer. Could you tell us about that side of your life?

I have never thought of myself as a musician or composer. As I have said before, I took violin lessons in my early years with an elderly musician. When I had finished the course my teacher told me that he had taught me all he knew.

Then we played a melody together called "Now we are going to sit on a bench together." After that I took no more violin lessons. I was 13 years old and had just been told that I had gotten my first job in a barbershop.

You told an interviewer from your local newspaper that you intend to write your autobiography. Have you begun it yet?

Yes, It is true that I have been working on a script for a book for quite some time. The book will concern my memories and experiences. For now, large amounts of the book's pages have been printed, and photographs are currently being put in. I expect it to be finished for an edition during the first part of 2007.

What are your earliest memories?

My earliest memory comes from 1914, when I was two years old. I remember waking up in a hospital after a groin operation. I was crying in a so-called spjallsang (where small babies sleep) all alone in a rather large hospital ward.

Have you ever traveled abroad? Have you visited Australia?

I have never been to Australia. My work life as a fridge technician has only required journeys in Sweden, the Scandinavian countries and Germany.

Can you tell me something about your family?

My Kathie was born in 1916. We met 1933 and got married in 1939. We rented an apartment in Finspong. In 1946 we bought ourselves a house. In 1955 the company I was working for moved to Norrkoping.

During two years I traveled between work and home, but in 1957 we moved to an apartment there. Kathie who worked in the medical care had to resign from her work. A new job was fixed for her, a night service working concerning the care of the elderly people.

She worked there until she retired in 1980. During the following years she mainly laid in the sick bed until she ended her days in 1989. I got the girl I wanted and that I loved in everything. Unfortunately we had no children.

You recently mentioned that you are having eyesight problems. That must be a dreadful handicap, particularly to anyone working with a computer.

My reduced eyesight has resulted in a large change both in my daily life and particularly when I am sitting working with the computer.

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

That is something I would really like to do.

And that is just what you are doing, Allan. Congratulations, best wishes for a Merry Christmas and for a long and successful reign as oldest of the world's 55 million bloggers.

Until OhmyNews International discovered earlier this month that Allan Loof (94) from Finspang, Ostergotland, Sweden, is the world's oldest blogger, and Tennessee (U.S.) tomato-grower Ray White (93) the second-oldest, many people believed that Canada's oldest blogger, Donald Crowdis (92) was the world's oldest.

Don will be 93 on Christmas Eve. Greetings from all over the world are flooding in to his blog.

Check out these venerable and entertaining bloggers:

World's oldest: Allan Loof (94)
America's oldest: Ray (Dad) White (93)
Canada's oldest: Donald Crowdis (93)
Australia's oldest e-book author: Eric Shackle (87)
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Eric Shackle

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