MINING...LOVE AND OTHER DANGERS
THE SEARCH FOR PRECIOUS METALS AND MINERALS HAS OCCUPIED MANKIND FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS....IT CAN BE MORE
ADDICTIVE THAN LOVE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gordon Carr was first
engaged in mining in the
He had a taste of the
movie industry in
On assignment with
Then, life turned full circle and it was back to mining, this time for gold, in north-west Queensland, a much more sophisticated and mechanised venture than his earlier involvement.
Lately, Gordon is occupied in a rather less-exciting life as an office assistant in a family law firm and writing more novels which can make up for the lack of excitement. What next? Perhaps a humorous look at the law from a layman’s point of view.
THE TECHNOLOGICAL AGE
Change, change, change. Things never seemed to stay the same for long. What was digitally innovative and new one day was replaced the next with something different, a marvel that one must have. Meanwhile legions of white-coated technicians were busily creating even more ever-changing, expensive and different versions of everything that did everything – ‘smart’ phones with ridiculous names, BlackBerries, Bluetooth, and iPods, on which to store hundreds of songs and musical numbers, most of which the iPod owner would never have the time to listen to most of them. All of this made fortunes for the production companies. People every day lived in a virtual world of unreality, their brains replaced by computers, many no longer happy in or even able to relate to the real world. Children starting school stared into computers and did so for the rest of their lives. Men and women became slaves to a super-fast, high-tech world with even more laughable names: Google, Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, WikiLeaks, with more to come. Mankind bought and paid for ever-evolving and expensive add-on accessories. With so much reliability on computers the world was open to cyber melt-down and formerly great nations open to cyber-attack.
There was a man who was tired of the modern, frantic pace of life. He just wanted things to slow down, be really natural – trees, plants, birds, fish, butterflies, animals, mankind, endlessly repeating themselves so they were always there and all done without the aid of computers. Over the eons, snow-capped mountains were raised with the churning of the earth and then eroded away. Sea levels rose and fell. With the volcanic heat and bitter cold of the Ice Ages, minerals and metals were formed. In the heat of molten basalt, crystalline prisms appeared in which were locked spectacular colours and also wealth sought after by mankind. From nature came chrysoberyl, tourmaline and lepidolite that formed mica in great books. Man discovered coal, iron, gold and silver, and for one lone prospector, a great adventure, which had nothing to do with computers but all to do with nature. The earth, the sun, deserts, women and the great arching vault of the never-changing universe with its myriads of stars. That man stood alone on a hill in central Australia and breathed in the stillness, the emptiness, the peace and tranquility of an ancient land. It was a different world. The rocks, earth, sparse trees, dry river beds and low rolling hills offered a sanctuary from the madness he had left behind in the big overcrowded cities to the east.
That man was following in the footsteps of other men who had come seeking the treasures of the earth in a more ordered, and perhaps slower, pre-digital age, not so long ago.
It was a great time to be a child, an era between the two great wars that had split and devastated the world. A time before computers, video games, mobile phones and text messaging. There were creeks in which to play, splash, dive and swim; fish to catch and dams to build; hills beyond to climb and explore; further on high mountains that were snow-capped in winter. Children would be gone from home, daylight to dark, and nobody worried about their safety because they were safe. They returned home tired and hungry, with bare feet, scratched and muddy knees, sometimes proudly bearing the trophy of an eel or a trout caught in the creek. At other times they would bring baskets of fat mushrooms, collected from paddocks.
Fathers went to work from eight to five o’clock each day and Saturday mornings. Mothers stayed at home, looking after the children, cooking meals and tending the flower garden. Land blocks in the towns were big, usually a quarter acre or more, and all had vegetable gardens at the back, plus fruit trees and poultry runs. Most families were almost self-sufficient in fresh food. There was usually a family pet, a cat, a fat cuddly pup, a white rabbit or goldfish or all four. Children went to school and learnt to spell, write correct English and learn their times tables. The strap was brought into play to control naughty classroom play-ups, administered on the hand or the backside; nobody thought it was abuse. Parents agreed such punishment was necessary.
Most children went to Sunday school with a penny (one cent) to put in the collection plate. There was a choice of attendance at Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, Salvation Army or Seventh Day Adventists (on Saturdays). Islam was never mentioned and for most was unheard of and unknown. Political offshoots, al-Qa’ida and the Taliban, lay far in the future. Not many families boasted cars or telephones apart from, usually, the local doctors, and farmers who lived far out in the country. To get anywhere you rode a bike, walked or caught a bus. There were few so-called foreigners and no multicultural society. The exceptions were a few Chinese who toiled from daylight to dark in market gardens, and Indians with sari-clad women who owned the fruit shops. There was no such thing as political correctness; such a curb on language would have been thought hilarious and downright stupid. There were waitresses, actresses and even an aviatrix. Oddly, teachers, lawyers, doctors and dancers could be of either sex.
As the children got older most of the boys got jobs before or after school delivering newspapers, or early morning milk deliveries helping the local milkman, who often did his job with a horse-drawn vehicle much like a Roman chariot. There were door-to-door deliveries by the fish man, the rabbit man, the local grocer and persistent salesmen who peddled all sorts of cooking and health products from house to house. All in all it was a great time to be a child even if the Great Depression was starting to cause concern to the adults. If your father had a job you were lucky. For the kids, the best of all was the Saturday arvo pictures with cowboys Buck Jones, Tim McCoy or outer space adventures starring Flash Gordon. If Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck came on the screen, their appearance would be greeted by cheers from the youthful audience. Hollywood was far away, a wonderful place where Shirley Temple reigned supreme, a junior Marilyn Monroe of her day.
Click on the cart below to purchase this book:
Prices in Australian Dollars
(c)2012 Zeus Publications All rights reserved.