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Here we go - Neil_Oz - the cyber bar is open now for your cyber wake!

Here we go - Neil_Oz - the cyber bar is open now for your cyber wake!

Old Sep 9th, 2010, 12:56 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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Here we go - Neil_Oz - the cyber bar is open now for your cyber wake!

Never having participated in a cyber wake before I'm not quite sure what to do but as long as we do it with all sincerity I guess we can just make it up as we go along....so....

Neil, mate - thank you so much for your contributions here. I am amazed at the emotion I feel for someone that I have never even met. Who you were, what made you so loved, respected and admired - we could discern all this just from your words Neil!

Oh Vale Neil, Vale mate - I will most definitely miss you but in the meantime Neil - bottoms up!!!!
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 01:04 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Thanks for opening the door, Stormbird. I was getting wet in the rain waiting to hear the rattle of the chain.

No matter what you do Stormbird, even if you've never done it before, it will be just perfect because it comes from the heart.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 01:14 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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My glass is raised in appreciation for all your contributions Neil. Enjoyed reading every one of them. May you Rest In Peace with many other Fodors mates. All sharing your travel tales with lots of laughs. Vale Neil.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 01:18 AM
  #4  
 
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Dearest Neil, so many of us have never met you; yet the warmth of your character, your wisdom, your sense of humour and the vast wealth of your knowledge - that you were so willing to share - has made you a much-admired and very fond online friend whose absence is felt so deeply.

It was your gentlemanly style and generosity on the Australia forum that persuaded me to take the plunge and sign-up to join the Fodor's conversations in 2005. I've looked for and enjoyed your threads on all the boards, and they are a wonderful final testament to your inherent courtesy and knowledge, laced with your wicked sense of humour; your unique and insightful contributions will live in cyberspace forever.

Vale Neil - here's mud in your eye!
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 01:24 AM
  #5  
 
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... and I'd just like to add that Neil picked up on my 'nom de plume' straight away. Some think it's a bad hotel bathroom experience, others a fluffy floor covering - but Neil recognised the 'Strine for 'fairy tales' immediately. He was such an amazing font of knowledge on all things Australian.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 01:40 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Stormbird, do you have a favourite Neil thread/trip report?

I really enjoyed his wonderful China TR, and used much of the information on our own trip a year later.

Speak now before we break into drinking songs
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 01:43 AM
  #7  
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Well I loved it when Bushranger used to come on and Neil would start on about how Bushie must be back to sniffing paint again! I used to really chuckle about that because I used to think the same thing - Neil and I were united when it came to Bushie!

We were not united when it came to politics and quite frankly the way he could spin those political words had me sh*t scared and so I never really participated with his political discussions because I was always worried he'd just shoot me down in flames!(In the nicest possible way that is Neil)
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 01:46 AM
  #8  
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...and to be honest he was soooo excited when Julia became PM and he was so excited about the next election I didn't want to really burst his bubble on that thread with any sort of opposition. (and I knew he'd shoot me down in flames)
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 02:21 AM
  #9  
 
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Me too, the Neil put-down on incomprehsible and often incorrect info is legend!

Shoot you down in flames - nevah! But then again, politics is always a volatile subject. And hay, Neil got his wish with Julia our PM for the next term, if by the skin of her teeth.

Karma
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 02:26 AM
  #10  
 
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I loved his down under sense of humour. He used to back me up (even though I am from NZ) when we were participating on threads started by CW, and others from the UK. We could recognise the sarcasm and irony, whereas some of the other posters were totally bemused by the whole thread.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 02:43 AM
  #11  
 
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Knock, knock..may I come in and join all of you?
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 02:48 AM
  #12  
 
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Welcome LI! Good to see you here. The bar is open for your favourite Neil story - or yarn - which will probably include red wine?
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 02:56 AM
  #13  
 
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and look, Stormbird is in the back stacking the slabs of beer, but she's managed to get a 48 hour cyber liquor licence so it's open house for all.

And she brews a great 3am cup of coffee, too
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 03:01 AM
  #14  
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Hello Love & welcome. Yes I'm sure you must have a favourite Neil story to tell!
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 03:29 AM
  #15  
 
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Thank you Furry Tiles, looks like I am a bit late. I set the alarm clock, it is 2:55 AM here in Northern California.

May favourite Neil story would have to be when I was sitting at the sidewalk table at the MonaLisa Restaurant in North Beach, San Francisco as I was meeting Neil and Robyn. I was having a nice glass of Italian wine and wondered since there were so many people going to and fro if I would know Neil and Robyn as this was before Fodor's started their Profile section for Fodorites. Suddenly there they were! Neil had the biggest smile and his arms wide open. I jumped up and received the biggest and wsrmest hug. Than I received the same from his lovely wife Robyn. I felt like I was with friends I had known forever.

I don't remember what we had for lunch. I do remember I asked Neil to order the wine. He chose a good Italian red. We talked, we laughed, we ate, we drank, we laughed, we talked and finally the Italian waiter removed our empty plates. The wine bottle was empty as were our wine glasses. Neil thought it would be a fine idea to order a second bottle since none of use were driving. Robyn and I agreed with Neil. And so we sat for much longer, fortunatly the lunch crowd was long gone so the restaurant was fine with us keeping the table. Well the owner is from Southern Italy and all the servers are from Italy so they understand about long leisurely lunches and friendships.

About 4:00PM we toddled out of the restaurant as at our request the restaurant had called a taxi for us which had arrived. We took a ferry to Fishermen's Wharf where Neil and Robyn were going to take a bus to tour San Francisco for a few hours. I took the ferry back to Vallejo. Did I mention it took a bit of heavy thinking to figure all that out but despite two bottles of Italian red wine we finally managed, lol.

A beautiful time and one that will live in my memory forever.

Sadly Neil and Robyn were never able to take their long planned for trip to Italy, sigh. But as Robyn said to me they have had many lovely trips together over the years.
I am getting a bit teary friends, as Neil and I had fun talking from time to time about the two months they planned on spending in Italy. I had planned on surprising them by having one of the couples I know and love in the Region of Veneto take them to some of the small towns and to a favorite restaurant as I knew the four of them would have a delightful time together as they had so much in common including the love for red wine. Well Mino will soon be having wine with our Mino, discussing politics etc., as he to has the same health problem as our Neil had and will soon be leaving this world. Life is strange, isn't it?

Cheers, CinCin, Salute dear Neil. Thank you for the years that you were such a good friend, a shoulder at needed times, a source of joy especially when you shared your ancestors history with me, a teacher regarding Australian politics and all the hours where I had good laughs thanks to your wit and humour. And oh yes, Bushranger, Neil's description of him are best not repeated, lol! I didn't always understand all the conversations with CW and our other UK Fodorites as it seemed to be in a different language but I would roar with laughter anyway as I knew they were having lots of fun confusing the American Fodorites.

Thanks for all the precious memories, Neil!
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 03:35 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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And forgive my lack of manners, stormbird! Thank you for holding the first ever cyber wake. It has helped to share with those of you who understand our deep affection for your Neil who I am sure will live in everyones thoughts forever.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 03:56 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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What a beautiful wake, stormbird, you are a gem to think of it.

Neil's erudite, humorous, repectful and, above all, intelligent posts were the main reason I joined Fodor's.

He seemed to be able to shine a light of reason on most subjects and to disagree with class - not a trait much practised in the Lounge!

Not so long ago I was badly burned when I posted a very innocent post; I was way too naive about some of the piranhas on this site, but I kept coming back because of the few posters like Neil (and I'm glad I did).

Tonight I raised my glass (sob, sadly not of wine, but water - in a crystal glass, in his honour). Neil was a gent.

A rare breed.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 04:30 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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I'll be in it too, but it won't be the first glass have raised for Neil since I heard the sad news.

Whilst I've never met Neil in person we have exchanged emails over the years, I still have quite a few in my inbox which are "pure Neil" and was hoping to catch up with him here in FNQ; he had an old mate up here who he and Robyn were planning to visit.

So, here's "mud in your eye", Neil.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 04:57 AM
  #19  
 
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Well I have just logged on again to see what extra responses there have been and see that my earlier response isn't there. Perhaps that's an indication of how many people were accessing the thread just after 6.00pm. I would like to think so.

Regardless, I certainly raised a glass or two to Neil at 6.00 (and for a little while longer) and I hope that Robyn and family were able to join us in our toast to Neil.

Neil's wit will be remembered for a long time and he was a true world traveller, whether it be in person or in mind.

Thank you for the lovely idea Stormbird. It has really captured the imagination of so many people. A friend from Singapore rang me just before 6pm and I said to her, hang on a minute I'm pouring myself a glass of wine and explained why. She was so taken with the idea that she raised a glass to Neil herself.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 05:02 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Time for me to don my raincoat and head out the door.

A big thank you to Stormbird. And thanks to all for the stories.

I've had two candles lit since 6pm - one for Neil, and one for my darling mum as today is also the anniversary of her passing.

Her favourite song, which we played at her farewell service and I've played many times today, seems equally fitting for our Neil ...

Unforgettable - the orginal version by Nat King Cole, a sorta King of music tribute to the memory of our online King of words.

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