Life on the Goldfields Diary Entry

BY LYDIA

Day 1: A Secret Journey

I currently live in North America, well not anymore, ever since mum woke me up in the middle of the night. Mum told me to start packing simple and light food, as much money that I had and as many blankets and warm clothing that I had. "But be careful that you don't pack too much. And also remember to pack lots of water and food" screeched mum. "What for?" I demanded. Mum started to get cross. "Just pack!" I knew I shouldn't of asked that. She then stormed out of the room.


I just stood there for a few minutes thinking: where we were going, why did I need all this stuff, why I couldn't know where we were going and things like that. My daydream got disrupted by a loud call of my name.

"Lydia, have you finished packing?" yelled a familiar voice. "We have to leave now!"

"Coming" I yelled to the familiar voice. I grabbed all of the sheets on my bed, three jumpers, all of my pants, half of my tops, an unpredictable amount of underwear, all the money that I had, a large bag and anything that could carry water and food.


I ran downstairs, prepared to ask mum how many water bottles I needed when I saw a dark figure, shaped like a tall man. He was lurking in the shadows whispering to mum. I was hiding behind the wall desperately trying to hear what they were talking about. They must have heard me come down the stairs because not long after I saw them, they stopped talking. Mum then instantly went to her purse and pulled out some money. She then walked towards the man with the money. She was going to give a stranger money for no reason! Before she could give him the money, I came out of hiding just like I hadn't seen anything. I continued on with the question that I wanted to ask mum. "Mum, how many bottles do I need to pack?" I asked. "One, Two, Three..." Mum stopped me there and said "10." I stood there in astonishment, with my mouth wide open.


"Well, don't just stand there, go and pack them!" said the familiar voice who slowly crept into the light. "Uncle!" I said as I ran to give him a hug. But surprisingly, he stopped me, and he stopped smiling. He then said in a low, scary tone, "there's no time for that but we'll be relaxing soon so you can hug me then. Then it'll be working time again." I was really confused so I looked at mum who would hopefully fill me in. She was about to talk when Uncle beat her to it. "Come on, pack the waters and mum and I will be waiting in the car outside." They walked outside quickly while I was stuck filling the waters. I was also stuck on why nobody would tell me what on Earth was going on here. I thought that I was dreaming so I pinched myself but I was still in the kitchen about to leave to, well, I don't even know.


I finished filling up the waters and I walked outside and hopped into the car. There was silence for about one second and then Uncle said "So, isn't this fun?" No I said to myself. I don't know where I'm going but i said yes anyway. The talking didn't last long. Anyw... zzzzzzzzzzz

I got woken up in the middle of the night again. Mum said that we were changing the transportation. So I got up and out of the car and found myself in front of a very large ship. There were tons of kids on the ship and I could tell that they all felt the way I felt. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Day 2: Ballarat and mining

I woke up and checked my watch. It was 8:30. I'm late for school! Why didn't mum wake me up? She always wakes me up at 8 o'clock. I got up looking around for my wardrobe and for the door. They had vanished. So had my room. I was in the ship from last night. Then I closed my eyes, counted to ten and and hoped that that I was back in my room and nothing had happened. I slowly and carefully opened my eyes and I found myself in my room - in the ship.


Mum then came in with my breakfast. "I'm glad that Uncle isn't in the room because I need to talk with you privately" I yawned. " what in the Universe is happening?" Mum hesitated and then mumbled out, "We're going to mine for gold" I don't think that I had cleaned out my ears. "I'm sorry mum, but I thought that you said we were going to mine for gold". She nodded reassuringly. No wonder I needed to pack all the money that I had. It was to buy all of the tools that we need and the right amount of supplies. In class we had been learning about mining and the things that we need and the correct amounts. To mine for Gold we need:


  • to buy a permit which costs 5 shillings
  • to buy the correct amount of supplies for the period of time that we were staying there which costs 8 pounds and 13 shillings
  • the supplies include a tent, blankets, 3 bags of flour to make damper, 4 bags of tea and one chunk of mutton
  • to choose shaft or alluvial as the location for mining
  • to buy the correct tools for the area that we were going to mine at which costs 5 pounds and 14 shillings
  • the tools we need are a bucket, windlass, pick and a cradle
  • to know that 1 shilling is about $2.25 and 1 pound is $45 and there are 20 shillings in 1 pound

After we've done that, we can start mining.

"We are going to arrive in Ballarat in five minutes." said mum excitedly. "Come on, get out of bed and get ready." The horn of the ship just rang and I have gathered all of my bags and I'm dressed. "Mum where are we?" "We are at Ballarat," said Mum. "Where we are going to mine." I had always wanted to go to Ballarat ever since we had learnt about it in class. This is all I remember:


  • is in Victoria, Australia
  • villagers have fled their homes to mine for gold
  • millions of people have left their countries to mine at ballarat
Gold Panning at Sovereign Hill

Day 3: The People on the Goldfields

We are in the town of Ballarat and luckily my teacher had been teaching us about mining. After we bought everything that we needed we were off. We finally got to the goldfields and straight away we set up the tent. Mum suggested that we mark a spot for mining and then start tomorrow. "Mum, can I go and look for some kids to play with?" "Sure but be back soon." So I started wandering off while looking around. The majority of people were Chinese and women. The Chinese miners were mining with a different technique to the rest of us. They didn't look the same as me and my family and they looked weird. All of these Chinese people have probably left their families and homes to represent their families mining for gold.


Then there are the women. I just stood there for like 10 minutes and this one woman didn't stop working for one second. She wasn't doing the mining by the way; she was sorting out the food and getting it ready.


I am amazed by the people here and I ran straight back to mum and told her. "Did you find a friend though?" said asked curiously. I shook my head sadly. "But I'll look again tomorrow."

Goodbye Diary