This morning I woke up particularly early at 5am thanks to the chorus of birds chirping and sunlight creeping into the room downstairs. I ventured out on to the porch to snap a picture of the misty deciduous forest and immediately felt the frost on my hands which were uncovered. By the time I wen back into the house, my fingers were feeling all prickly.
While I had hoped for an early morning start, Theo had other ideas. He was hibernating so comfortably under the sheets in the second storey that he refused to get up until 1030am. By then I was fuming mad as I wanted us to spend the morning mining for thundereggs. How fun right?
So after finally getting all the babies, Theo included dressed and ready, we set off for Thunderbird Park which is a 10 minute drive away. I kinda blew when I found out that our children could not admitted entry unless they wore closed toe shoes. It was 1130am and the wedding reception was to start at 3pm.
I guess Theo must have felt guilty for spoiling my plans so he quietly drove us back, changed the children’s shoes and then headed back to the park again. We paid the A$70 for the entrance fee, mining tools and some simple demonstration on how to mine and what kind of rocks to look out for.
Some geography lessons here – due to geologic pressure, fissures are formed inside these rocks and over time magma seeps into these rocks and when cooled at certain temperatures, they create really unique patterns once the rocks are cut up and you can create jewellery or decorations with these.
So there we were two clueless adults and two bumbling kids carrying our metal pails and picks trudging uphill towards the mine site. It is not an easy feat considering that the slopes are steep and we got both hands full of equipment and children.
Thankfully it was good weather and we spent a good 1.5 hours digging away at rocks, chipping away soil and then inspecting them for quality. Although the children didn’t quite understand the process, they had fun imitating us.
After we had enough of the dirt, we had the unpleasant task of hauling at least 20kg worth of rocks back to the tin shed to be appraised.
The apprentice miner picked out rocks which were worth cutting and quoted us the price of each cut depending on size. Ended up spending another A$20 to cut the rocks which are on display in our cabinets now. I have started my rock collection and even have a miners’ permit to show for it. Haha.
We had lunch in a cafeteria in the park and by the time we were done, it was 2.30pm and both kids and I were exhausted so we decided to go back and take a nap after cleaning up and Theo would attend the ceremony alone.
Turned out that the children were back to full life after their shower and didn’t want to sleep. So we took a stroll around the bush outside the chalet and had a good time picking wild flowers.
Came across this really unique flower with plasticky like petals that close when out of water and blooms again when it touches water. But even without its roots, the flower remained alive throughout the 12 days in Australia.
We also found avocado trees but couldn’t picked them as it was the property of the Beacon. The children also enthusiastically helped me to pick acorns which serves as excellent fire starters. All in all we had a really good time exploring our foresty backyard.
Evening came and we dressed up for the wedding dinner. Was not used to having a 3 course meal for wedding dinner but I guess that’s probably a cultural thing.
We sat with the groom’s sister and learnt that her husband is an odd job labourer and she is not working to look after the children. Don’t think they earn much because they looked affected when I told them the Archos cost $500.
Anyway respective friends and family took turns to give their toast and the wedding ended with them taking to the dance floor. We retired soon after with Theo’s parents and grandma bunking with us for the night. Thankfully we had adequate space. It was good planning I would say.
We ended the night laying on the ground outside the porch and looking at the star filled sky. As I pondered about the events of the day, I realised I have an ang moh in my family now!