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 Post subject: Return Of The Native with apologies to Thomas Hardy
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:30 am 
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Location: Gondwanaland
Hardy's The Return Of The Native was the novel we studied for the Cape Matric. That will date me for those old enough to remember.

I am married with two adult children who have known no home other than Australia. An historian by training I have spent most of the past 40-years in education with occasional forays into journalism.

I was born and educated in South Africa's Eastern Cape. I left South Africa for the first time in 1971 and for the last time in 1983. My last visit to South Africa was in 1995. South Africa is an endless source of fascination for me but I choose to spend my tourist dollar elsewhere.

In July 1998 I ventured onto a South African discussion forum, Streak's Week on MWeb's Cape Town Live, for the first time. From there I found my way to Biltong Blues, Woza, RSA-Overseas, etc.

I was a founder member of the Mail & Guardian Discussion Forum which picked up the refugees from Biltong Blues in 1999. I was also invited to join The Braai, the precursor of this forum created by Michael for those who felt that the M&G forum was rapidly becoming sectarian and over-moderated. Remember that we came out of the relative anarchy of the 1990s when few forums were moderated or required registration, much as RSA-Overseas was until it was hijacked and went down for the last time.

The chances are that I know some of you from the early days, 1998 - 2002 or thereabouts. Three years ago I cleared out my bookmarks and dropped off the forum grid. After a couple of months hiking in the UK I returned home and began exploring the new social media, Digg, StumbleUpon, Google +, Twitter, Reddit & Newsvine. Eventually it boiled down to Twitter, with a continuous stream of news and information from the world's leading newspapers. Addictive!

I believe that I joined this forum some years ago but can't recall the details. What you see is still what you get, but the label may have changed. My given name is a very common one, so I am using one of the Gaelic variations of my other name.

Veterans of the old M&G forum may or may not know that it crashed for the last time earlier this year. The M&G dropped it in 2008. It motored along on an MWeb server until early 2011 when the founder and administrator, PeterHD, moved it to http://openforum.gargoyle.co.za Some time after Christmas it was hacked and the user database damaged beyond recovery. Peter tweeted that he had decided to let it go. Our old friends, the Mods, disappeared without fanfare a while back.

Marking as it did the end of an era in South African on line communities, the demise of the M&G - ironically - rekindled my interest and made me wonder what had become of the many folk I encountered on SA forums over the years. To all here, new and old, young and not so young, greetings. :)

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"The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there"
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 Post subject: Re: Return Of The Native with apologies to Thomas Hardy
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:32 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 8:06 pm
Posts: 21964
Location: UK
Hello and welcome!


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 Post subject: Re: Return Of The Native with apologies to Thomas Hardy
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:06 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:49 pm
Posts: 16391
Location: Galway Ireland
yep, welcome.

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 Post subject: Re: Return Of The Native with apologies to Thomas Hardy
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:50 am 
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James.

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 Post subject: Re: Return Of The Native with apologies to Thomas Hardy
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:03 pm 
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This post has been split off into the general discussion area.


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 Post subject: Re: Return Of The Native with apologies to Thomas Hardy
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:07 pm 
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good call.

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 Post subject: Re: Return Of The Native with apologies to Thomas Hardy
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:11 am
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Location: Gondwanaland
No worries. I've finished boring you to death with the family stuff. All is revealed. :)

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"The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there"
- L. P. Hartley 1895-1972


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 Post subject: Re: Return Of The Native with apologies to Thomas Hardy
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:43 pm
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Location: West of Toronto / GTA, Canada
Welcome. Sounds like you will add a lot to this forum.

Cheers from Canada.


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 Post subject: Re: Return Of The Native with apologies to Thomas Hardy
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:11 am
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Ta! Wife has family in Ottawa. Been there a couple of times, last in November 2007. Lovely part of the world.

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"The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there"
- L. P. Hartley 1895-1972


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 Post subject: Re: Return Of The Native with apologies to Thomas Hardy
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:48 pm
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Location: New Zealand
Welcome. We are an interesting bunch. Make some more posts so that you can post in the other sections


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 Post subject: Re: Return Of The Native with apologies to Thomas Hardy
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:43 am 
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Since I'm already thoroughly enjoying your posts in the general section, here's a rather late welcome to x-za. Greeting from Perth :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Return Of The Native with apologies to Thomas Hardy
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:11 am
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Location: Gondwanaland
Silverfox wrote:
Greeting from Perth :wink:


Thanks! FWIW, a couple of hardy perennials on the former M&G forum allegedly lived in Perth, 'Toby' & 'Vicar'.

Spent 1979 in Coolbellup doing postgrad studies in Education at Murdoch. When I settled permanently in Australia with my family in 1983 we spent six months in Perth followed by six months in Esperance relieving a teacher on long-service leave. We returned to Perth but moved 'back east' in February 1984 so my better half could resume her career. She had several interviews in Perth during 1983 but, in her profession, encountered what was virtually a closed shop for Sandgropers.

To this day I recommend to new arrivals from SA that they start in Sydney or Melbourne unless they have a firm offer of employment elsewhere. That being said, WA has a great deal to recommend it. In 1976, during spring school holidays, I travelled to Perth from Sydney, hired a car and toured the South-West and Great Southern following the coast to Esperance. A wonderful trip. Young and reckless and there was no RBT in those days. Just did what we used to do in SA at the time and stopped whenever I felt like a beer! :)

This website is quite useful for those wanting to make the transition http://www.saaustralia.org/ although I recommend that Saffies make the Australian government immigration website their first port of call. There is also a Yahoo group for South Africans in Australia although most of the regulars are in Sydney. Some years ago I did a roundup of online resources for South Africans in Australia but other interests, and a feeling that I'm "over" South Africa, means that I no longer participate.

The foregoing paragraph is off topic but one often hears of prospective new arrivals asking for information about the way others experienced 'settling in'.

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"The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there"
- L. P. Hartley 1895-1972


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 Post subject: Re: Return Of The Native with apologies to Thomas Hardy
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:50 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 2:12 am
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Location: somewhere in the UK
Allow me to extend a belated welcome from my side as well !

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