21 May 2010

What I did last weekend ...

I've been meaning to blog this for a while, but work and, uh, work got in the way. However, as a band-aid for low blogging I bring you a special edition of "What I did last weekend!"

The week before (Tuesday? Wednesday?) I was out on my lunch-time walk to get much needed coffee (a poor substitute for Masala and / or proper Chai tea), when I was coming back up the hill I noticed something interesting in front of me ;

On a trailer of a big four-wheel off-road monster of a car, a big white boat similar to the modern fishing vessels around down by the harbor was attached, except it was all white with a big blue logo on its side which read "Australian Museum."

I was intrigued, and I wondered to myself if they were lost or something, accidentally taking a wrong turn to somewhere exciting and had to turn down our street to get directions or something. I had stopped, and while pondering these things, a lady came out of the rental house it was parked in front of, and we started some idle chatter about why this boat (with all its magical capabilities) were here of all places.

Well, it turned out that the Australian Museum once a year goes out on a collecting excursion to collect samples for both the collection and for scientists as well. I showed some vague interest in the matter (I think I fell to my knees, pleading for insight, frothing at the mouth), and was invited in to have a look at their setup. I got up, and skipped into the house like a little girl, giggling and grinning all the way.

I looked at their photo setup, talked some technical stuff, and then moved downstairs to their lab setup. They were a bunch of people (6 in total, I think) of about my age and up, and I had a quick glance and a lovely but quick chat with them as I mentioned that I'd love to show my kids, and we were all invited back on the weekend.

That's what I did last weekend; I took Lilje and Grace down to their lab, and we got stuck talking to the most wonderful bunch of scientists for about 2 hours. They showed us their findings, specimens, the worms and other invertebrates, plants, shrimps, urchins, you name it, all sorts of little critters who mostly got put in formalhydrane for an all expenses paid trip to provide us with knowledge.

The kids loved it, and I loved it, and I wish to thank the team and the museum for brightening our day and for shining light into dark corners.

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