When I was quite young, I was a mad rock hound. I loved fossicking, a hobby I enjoyed with my Dad who carted me all over the countryside, searching for agates, jasper, quartz, and any little speck of rock that took my fancy.
One year, when I was about 11 or 12, Dad and I travelled to a little place called Proston in Queensland. We spent several days working like dogs in the quest to unearth garnets, those gorgeous claret-red gemstones which often take a back seat to other popular gems.
Dad and I stood knee-deep in a muddy creek, shovelling, sieving, sorting, and searching for the elusive garnets. It is a memory I still hold dear, and one that came back to me vividly as I did exactly the same with Andy.
Fossicking is such a great hobby. It's a quest to find riches - not in the financial sense - but in the sense that these small stones which look so drab coated in clay, turn - like Cinderella - into an object of utmost beauty once washed. Of course, if the gems are cut, faceted, and polished, then their true beauty really shines.
I still have my rock collection from childhood. It's buried somewhere in my shed. Andy loved the trip away with his Nana. Hopefully one day he'll inherit my old rock collection and become a fossicker too.
The road trip to Inverell and Glen Innes last week was also a great refresher for my gem hunting skills. You see, I have a new book coming out in July and it is pretty much based on fossicking.
|Chances were he'd never find a real gem...|
until he learned how to dig deeper...
is number thirteen in
It's a collective of thirteen books by thirteen different authors, and the books are released one a month.
Bindarra Creek is a struggling country community whose townspeople work hard and love deeply. Set in the tablelands of New England, Australia, the fictional Bindarra Creek is a drought stricken community full of intrigue, adventure, drama and honest country goodness. Life and love in a small country town has never been more challenging.
Each of the books so far released - ten of them - are runaway best sellers, staying in the top Amazon rankings for weeks on end. To see more about the Bindarra Creek Romance books, check out this web site, or visit Amazon and other online retailers.
Andy and I fossicked for sapphires and found some beauties! We also found some topaz, zircon, opal, and a host of pretty little coloured crystals. We had fun of the dirty kind. Very dirty.
The fictional town of Bindarra Creek is set in the New England region of New South Wales. It's
elevated, so has quite cold winters. It is also rich in gemstones - particularly sapphires - and a trip to Fossicker's Way is a good way to spend a holiday.
You can camp at the fossicking areas, or do as Andy and I did, and rent a cabin. It's an easy four or five hour drive from Brisbane, and a similar distance from Sydney.
Fossicking gets in your blood. It's a great hobby that all the family can enjoy, and it's inexpensive. And what, you may ask, are the chances of finding a gorgeous sapphire or two?
Better than Buckley's Chance. :-)
Buckley's Chance. A Bindarra Creek Romance.
Out July 2016.