We were back in Nimbin this weekend. In our absence there had been a severe frost. All tropical plants and most of the subtropical plants, including everything growing in exposed areas and plants in shaded hollows that trap cold air, are dead. For annual plants like the banana trees, this doesn't matter - they will have offspring next year. Unfortunately, it looks like all our pineapples are dead, and in Nimbin village, some of the old trees, and many of the plants in the main communal garden, are either dead or dying. The minimum temperature was only minus six, but the last time it fell that low was the mid 1980s, and people have planted a lot of tropical plants since then. In our garden, the strangest thing was the carpet of dead leaves blanketed every open area and make it look as though the grass itself had been killed frost.
Despite the plumber showing up on a Saturday morning to hammer in a few large pieces of fibroboard to the bathroom and make a start assembling the shower and vanity units, it was still a much more relaxing weekend than in Brisbane. There is a new weekly Saturday market in the small lane that runs between the Rainbow cafe and the museum, and this features all sorts of naughty local goodies like fudge, jams, preserves, biscuits and cakes. There is also an amazing amount of local craft on display - jewelry, clothing, woodwork, and completely unexpected things like bonsai trees. Hopefully this new weekly market will grow and grow, and eventually rival the monthly market in both size and variety. What makes the weekly market special is that so far the organisers have restricted stalls to local residents.
On Sunday morning we caught up with Jillian, C's midwife, and C was able to swap the books which she borrowed two weeks ago, and we confirmed that dates and times of the antenatal classes that she is organizing. The more of Jillian's books she reads, the more reassured C seems to be - Not only is she now keen on trying for a home birth - she's even decided to book Jillian's warm-water birthing pool!
On our way through Nimbin afterwards heading for Brisbane, we stopped off for the first time at the candle factory by the creek. We spoke to the owner and explained that we are hoping to set up a candle themed campsite at this year's Splore festival, and hopefully Nimbin candles will be able to give us some interesting candles for our campsite. We were treated to the standard guided tour, which includes the impressive pyramid room, filled with multicoloured pyramid shaped candles. The highlight though is undoubtedly the replica medieval dipping mechanism. Wax is built up on the candles by dipping them many times into hot barrels of melted wax. The process itself is little different from any other candle factory, what is unique is that the entire process is water powered. With a twist of a tap, nearly 800 wicks can be dipped at once.
We drove back to Brisbane tired but refreshed once again, facing one last week at work before a well earned break!
PS - please excuse the American spelling; I haven't figured out how to attach the Vista dictation software to the locale's Australian dictionary, even though MS Word and my browser default to it...Ah, the mysteries.

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