T-Team Series–Ormiston Gorge

[Extract from Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981]

Fishies in the Billabong

After relishing the sweet crunch of cornflakes for breakfast, the T-Team drove back to Ormiston Gorge. We hiked through the gorge admiring the red cliffs, ghost gums and mirror reflections in the waterholes, and took less than an hour to reach the end with the view of Mt. Giles, lumpy and sapphire blue.

[Photo 1: Hike through Ormiston Gorge © C.D. Trudinger 1981]

Settling near a waterhole framed by reeds, Dad built up a fire on the coarse sand while our family friend, TR rolled up his trousers and dipped his toes in the pool. ‘Hey!’ He pointed and did a little dance. ‘A fish! I see a fish!’

[Photo 2: The Other Side of Ormiston © C.D. Trudinger 1981]

Our cousins, C1 and C2 raced over to TR. ‘Where?’ They peered into the pond. I trailed after them, hunting for fish through the plumes of muddied water near TR’s white calves.

‘There!’ TR waved his finger at the middle of the waterhole.

C1 squinted. ‘Oh, yeah.’

C2 waded into the water and peered. ‘I don’t see anything.’

[Photo 3: Waterhole closer © C.D. Trudinger 1981]

Richard hunted and fossicked through the cooking equipment Dad had scattered around the campfire. ‘You got a sieve? A net? Anything?’

‘What for?’ Dad asked.

‘The fish.’

‘Ah, you know, those fish can lay dormant in the dry creek bed for years and when the rain comes, they spawn.’ Dad just had to tell us.

‘Well, this little fishy is going to be our lunch.’ Richard snapped his fat fingers together like crab claws. ‘I’ll catch it with my hands if I have to.’ He strode into the pool with such force the waters parted like the Red Sea. ‘Now where’s that fish?’ He said as he sank up to his waist.

‘There it is!’ TR gestured. ‘To your right.’

[Photo 4: Mt Giles over pound © C.D. Trudinger 1981]

Richard glanced, his smile faded. ‘Oh, is that all? It’s just a piddley little thing. Not enough for lunch.’ He was neck deep in the water and prepared to swim. He shot up. ‘Ouch! Something bit me!’

‘Better watch out, might be Jaws,’ I said.

‘You didn’t tell me there were yabbies.’ Richard bobbed up and down, then reached down to catch his feet. ‘Ouch! It bit me again!’

‘Why not yabbies?’ C1 said.

‘Now that’s an idea.’ Richard replied.

‘Ah! Shrimp!’ C2 waded towards his cousin. ‘I love the taste of shrimp.’

‘Hmm, yabbies,’ Richard said. ‘We used to catch yabbies all the time when we were young.’ With an explosive splash, he submerged in search of the yabby that had bitten him.

Dad, TR and I waited for the damper scones to cook and watched Richard and C1 turn bottoms up like ducks in the water in their quest for yabbies. C2 waded in the shallows of the pond, a roughly sharpened stick in hand ready to skewer any hapless water-creature.

[Photo 5: Eating lunch © C.D. Trudinger 1992]

Soon we breathed in the sweet aroma of baked scones. Dad flipped the foil wrapped balls out of the coals. ‘Lunch is ready!’ He clustered the silver spheres together using a small branch as if they were balls on a snooker table. Empty-handed the lads dragged their soaked bodies from the waterhole and schlepped to the fire place to collect their consolation prize of damper scone.

Richard held his stubby index finger and thumb in the form of the letter “C”. ‘I was this close to getting a yabby.’

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016; Updated 2018; 2021

*Feature Painting: The Other Side of Ormiston © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016


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Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (Germany]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [France]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (India)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Canada]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Mexico]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Italy]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Brazil]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Spain]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Japan]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Netherlands]

Out of Time (5.4)

[The continuation of the Survivor Short Story “project” in the War On Boris the Bytrode series. This time, back in time, 1967, following the adventures of middle-aged mum, Letitia…

In this episode (5.4) Celebration as Letitia fixes the computer… But is it all just a bit too easy?]

A Computer Called Clarke

Part 4

In the spacious cabin, spacious for a yacht that is, which Wilhelm had dubbed the “Phone box” as it appeared larger on the inside than it seemed on the outside, the computer blinked, goading Letitia. The inane IGSF symbol menaced the screen a touch longer than it ought to. Letitia shuddered. She had never contended with a computer of this particular vintage.

When she first arrived in the Mirror Universe of 1986, she had toyed with a Commodore computer, a deceptively simple machine Frieda had given her to play games of story puzzles and space invaders; a sort of easing into the digital world. The computers on the Mother Ship had admittedly been constructed centuries ago and modified by a computer engineer named Clarke and his protégé, John, Frieda’s son. But on Mirror, by 2015, the prevailing Mirror Computer monopoly had been dismantled and thrown to the four or more existing richest multinationals to encourage competition. It had long been established that Mirrorsoft Works (as it was known on Mirror World) was a conundrum, an irony, as in most cases the system did not work. The same problems seemed to be manifesting with the IGSF programming in 1967. Had Boris hacked into the system and sabotaged it?

She fiddled around the edges of the system wishing that she could get her mind grafted into it and pretend that she had her head around the problem at hand. Meanwhile Wilhelm disappeared to the deck for the purpose of tightening ropes and fixing sails ready to sail. His parting words to her before rising to the deck were, ‘We acquired this computer six months ago, it was state of the art, it had all the bells and whistles, how could it? I can’t understand how it could break down like this.’

‘Boris, I reckon,’ she mumbled to the obnoxious piece of useless circuitry and the screen that stared back at her, blank and prehistoric. There it was, that stupid blue screen and mindless blathering of words and formulas scrawled across the window.

‘Fatal error!’ she exclaimed. ‘I haven’t seen anything so ridiculous in all my years of programming and managing Mirror’s networks. Oh, what’s this sinister box announcing that I have made a “fatal error” and that the computer must shut down immediately and all my information lost? If the threat wasn’t so ridiculous, it would be pathetic. Wilhelm, my friend, you have been ripped off. You have a lemon!’

Once more, she glared at the blue screen of death. ‘Probably is sabotage by Boris.’ She hurled her hands in the air. ‘Wipe it out and start again. That’s all I can do,’ she hissed at the screen spraying droplets over the LCD screen.

‘How are you going there?’ Wilhelm poked his head down the ladder from above.

‘Do you mind if I wipe everything out and start again?’ Letitia scoffed as she dabbed the screen with a tissue.

‘Yeah, that’s alright,’ Wilhelm replied. ‘Go ahead, if that solves the problem.’

A pale blue Cradle Mountain and cartoon caricatures of icons winked at her, daring her to programme them out of existence. She began the process. Pressed “start”, clicked “control panel” and paused to begin the road to computer condemnation.

With finger poised over the delete key, she breathed, ‘Say your prayers, Clarke!’ Then, she remembered. Always save data, files…anything. While this archaic monstrosity had some glimmer of life in it, she must endeavour to save what she could. She fished out a USB stick stored in the tin box below the screen. In the side of Clarke’s box-like body, a quartet of receptacles where these vintage sticks could be plugged. She again paused the execution process.

‘Will, have you saved all your data?’ she asked.

‘Save? Save? Do I have to save something?’ Wilhelm called from above through the floorboards.

‘Um, I’m just wondering if it isn’t a good idea – I don’t think I would have time to programme it all back in. It’s like spaghetti code,’ she said trying to sound as in control as possible. After the computer had consumed the whole morning, Letitia was ready to eat this computer like pasta.

 Wilhelm’s voice floated in from above. ‘Can those little sticky things I have in the tin box, will they be able to hold all the information?’

‘Only one way to find out.’

Letitia examined the tube. She pulled off the top and matched the probe to the plug on the box that held the menacing machine and proceeded to insert the device into the slot. ‘Do not crash! Do not crash!’ she commanded the computer as a mantra. It seemed to work. The computer obeyed and did not crash.

Several more hours dragged by. Saving. Wiping. Back to factory settings. And then finally, loading the multitudes of programmes back onto the device. She had discovered that to a certain extent she had picked up all the old IGSF computer system’s quirks and nuances. The basics of Clarke’s system were not vastly different from what she had managed on Mirror and was able to adapt to working and wrestling with this computer. Perhaps in hindsight, she should have been suspicious that she had become so adept controlling this yacht’s computer in such a short amount of time, but in the moment, it was an enemy that had to be subdued. After all, the system she had managed on Mirror, had been designed and run essentially, by Boris.

By four o’clock in the afternoon, with sweat dripping from Letitia’s forehead and soaking her back, she presented Wilhelm with a computer, baptised, cleansed from any Boris-contamination, and reborn to be fully IGSF-functional.

Wilhelm marvelled at the speedy IGSF satellite connection and lightning-fast processing.

Letitia mentioned in passing, ‘Oh, by the way, Clarke does not like the heat.’

‘You speak as if the computer is a person.’ Wilhelm remarked with mock surprise as he viewed a satellite image of Melbourne.

‘But, Wilhelm, he is,’ Letitia jested with only half her tongue in her cheek. She did not share with Wilhelm that she had put some of her mind and soul into the very core of the computer’s hard drive to stabilise it from further Boris attacks, and to cause it to run more efficiently. She wasn’t going to divulge to Wilhelm that she had ordered the computer to obey only her and Will’s command. After all, in Wilhelm’s early twentieth-century mind, computers were merely machines. She did not want to spoil for Will or anyone else in this time and place, any illusion that they were not.


Upon the triumph of Letitia over the computer, they spent one last night on shore celebrating. Wilhelm invited Letitia to join him for a function at the Cascade Brewery. Wilhelm was immensely popular and there was always a party in need of his presence. In that way, John, as Letitia remembered Mirror John, and Wilhelm were similar. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, Letitia mused as she watched Wilhelm entertain the other guests with his exploits as head psychiatrist at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Another old adage surfaced to describe both John and Wilhelm. She smiled remembering, You can’t have a party without them. After all, John is Wilhelm’s son on this Earth as well as Mirror World.

A different story for Frieda, though. Her absence was fobbed off as “not well”, “migraine” and actually, trouble finding a babysitter for Johnny. Although Wilhelm had confided in her that Frieda had been rather tired and sick in the mornings lately…

‘Here’s to Letitia, the Legend,’ Wilhelm toasted Letitia as they stood by the nineteenth century sculptured fountain in the middle of the lush green lawn.

‘Hmm!’ Letitia raised her glass of claret. If they only knew, she thought. If this is real Earth, my Earth in 1967, if only they knew what the next fifty years have in store for them…

Over by the wall of window that spanned one side of the historic building, Wilhelm entertained the cluster of elites from the hospital. They seemed perfectly at ease, perfectly comfortable in their space, time, and important positions. It was as if the plane crash in Antarctica had never happened; as if there were no terrorists; as if there never had been nor will be any nuclear attacks. As if Boris himself was null and void.

‘If they only knew,’ Letitia repeated.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021

Feature Photo (artistically enhanced): Memories of Cascade Brewery © L.M. Kling 1995


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And how it continues with Mission of the Unwilling

T-Team Series–Palm Valley

The T-Team with Mr B

Lost in Palm Valley

[Extract from The T-Team with Mr B: Central Australia 1977, a prequel to Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981.

The T-Team with Mr B — In 1977 Dad’s friend Mr Banks and his son, Matt (not their real names), joined Dad, my brother (Rick) and me on this journey of adventure. I guess Dad had some reservations how I would cope… But it soon became clear that the question was, how would Mr B who was used to a life of luxury cope? And would my brother survive?]

Our truck lumbered over the designated four-wheel drive track-come-dry Finke Riverbed to Palm Valley.

[Photo 1: Dry river of the Finke © C.D. Trudinger circa 1955]

Dad turned to Mr. B and chuckled. ‘How would you like to sleep on this riverbed?’

Mr. B pouted, folded his arms and looked out the window.

We continued to bump over the rocks and sand where two-wheel drive vehicles fear to tread. Dad recalled his days travelling by donkey along this same track when he explored Palm Valley with his Arunda students.

*[Photo 2: Those were the days when only donkeys trekked the path to Palm Valley © C.D. Trudinger circa 1955]

‘O-oh!’ Dad uttered as the Rover’s underside scraped over some boulders. When our vehicle continued to move, though slowly, we all sighed with relief.

‘O-oh!’ Dad gritted his teeth and sucked air through the gaps in them. The Rover jolted to a stop. The engine screamed. The body rocked. The wheels spun. ‘O-oh! I think we’re bogged.’

Mr. B groaned, ‘I hope that doesn’t mean we’re sleeping on this god-forsaken creek tonight.’

‘Okay—oh, better put it into four-wheel drive. Now, for one more try.’

Dad readjusted the grip of his fingers on the steering-wheel and pressed his foot on the accelerator. The Rover leapt out of the bog-hole.

‘Good thing you remembered that the Land Rover has four-wheel drive,’ Mr. B muttered.

We crawled along the creek bed for a few more minutes, until confronted with formidable boulders where we were forced to stop. Dad reckoned we were a mile or two from the valley, so we had to hike the rest of the way.

Rick raced ahead. As was his habit, he lost us.

*[Photo 3: Palm Valley with me © C.D. Trudinger 1977 (taken with my instamatic camera)]

We entered the land that time had misplaced, forgotten and then found preserved in this valley. Lofty palms swayed in the breeze. Fronds of green glittered in the sun while their shadows formed graceful shapes on the iron-red cliffs. Here a cycad, spouting from the rocks, there a ghost gum jutting from those same deep red walls. This sanctuary for ancient prehistoric palms, which had existed there since the dawn of time, distracted us from my errant brother. We trundled over the stone smoothed by the running of water several millennia ago, admired the mirror reflections in the remaining pools, and breathed in the tranquility.

*[Photo 4: Mirror reflection © C.D. Trudinger 1977]

Then, as if the ancient palm spell was broken, a frown descended on Dad’s face. He stood up, tapped his pockets checking to feel if his keys and small change still existed, and then marched down the valley. When he’d disappeared into a gathering of palms, I asked Mr. B, ‘What’s my dad doing?’

‘I think he’s looking for your brother,’ Mr. B replied. ‘He seems to have a habit of getting lost.’

Matt, Mr. B’s son sniggered.

[Photo 5: Wiggly Palm © C.D. Trudinger circa 1955]

Still in the zone of swoon, I sat beside the billabong in the shade of the palm trees and changed my film. Then I stretched, and leaving Mr. B and Matt to their rest, I ambled along the stone-paved bed looking for Dad. Again, time lost relevance in the beauty and wonder of the palms: tall skinny ones, wiggly ones, short ones, clustered ones and alone ones.

[Photo 6: Pa peaceful amongst the palms © L.M. Kling (nee Trudinger) 1977]

I found Dad, but there was no sign of my brother. The sun had edged over the western walls of the valley casting a golden-orange glow over the opposing cliffs.

Dad huffed and puffed. ‘It’s getting late. I s’pose Rick has gone back to the Rover.’

‘Better head back, then,’ I said.

On the way, we collected Mr. B and son. They had not seen my AWOL brother either.

*[Photo 7: Sunset on the cliffs of Palm Valley © C.D. Trudinger 1981]

We waited back at the car for Rick. Dad’s concern turned to annoyance, then frustration. Dad had plans for a picnic, but as the sun sank lower, his well laid plans were becoming remote. Dad paced the sand, hands on hips, and muttering discontentedly. Trust my brother to spoil a perfect place and time for a picnic tea. The idea of proceeding with the picnic without Rick did not occur to Dad. I guess the thought that some peril had befallen him had sabotaged any appetite. Dad nervously tapped his right pocket; at least his keys hadn’t gone AWOL.

Every few minutes Dad paused in his pacing. ‘Ah—well!’ he’d say. Then sucking the warm air between his gritted teeth, he’d resume pacing.

An hour passed as we watched Dad track back and forth across the clearing.

*[Photo 8: Memories of a ghost gum © C.D. Trudinger 1977]

‘I swear you’ve made a groove there in the sand,’ Mr. B said.

Dad halted and narrowed his eyes at Mr. B.

I peered at the sand, straining my vision to pick out the path Dad had created.

A branch cracked. Footsteps, thudded. Distant. Then closer…louder.

Dad turned. All of us in the clearing froze and we fixed our gaze on the path leading to Palm Valley. The prodigal son stumbled into the clearing.

[Photo 9: Waiting for the prodigal son—view amongst the palms © C.D. Trudinger 1977]

Contrary to the parable, Dad snapped, ‘We were going to have a picnic tea. But it is 5 o’clock, now. We have to get going!’

So, with less than an hour before darkness descended, we navigated the bumpy Finke River ride, and Dad’s grumpy mood, back to Hermannsburg.

After tea, Dad recovered from the grumps as we played cardgames; first “Pig”, followed by “Switch”.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019; updated 2021

Feature Photo: Palm Valley © C.D. Trudinger 1981


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Out of Time (5.3)

A Computer Called Clarke

[The continuation of the Survivor Short Story “project” in the War On Boris the Bytrode series. This time, back in time, 1967, following the adventures of middle-aged mum, Letitia…

In this episode (5.3) Will asks Letitia to fix his computer…]

Letitia stared at the scrambled eggs slowly cooling on the plate before her. 5am was just too early in the day for such generosity. Even the gentle bobbing of the vessel in its moorings messed with her balance causing a rising sense of seediness. She needed to acclimatise to the notion of seafaring. Then negotiating her way around the sprawling mess of Melbourne, and finally, the dreaded possibility of flying back to Adelaide. To teach. Then a worse thought, having to deal with Tails. That creep, who with his partner in crime, stole two boys from their rightful parents.

Tails. She remembered him. A slimy character swilling down a beer. Reeking of alcohol from every pore. Leering at her. As she dodged the drunken crowds. Keeping pace with her up Anzac Parade to the racecourse in Sydney one sweaty summer’s day. Frieda’s party were meeting there, near the racecourse, before the IGSF bus ride out West to Wagga and the flight to the LaGrange Point. Tails, uninvited, followed. The IGSF team were not fond of escaped convicts.

Boris didn’t seem to have a problem with Tails, though.

Letitia gulped and plunged her spork into the yellow mash.

Wilhelm, as if unintentionally teasing her, added the attached strings, ‘You wouldn’t be able have a look at our on-board computer – it’s been playing up lately.’

Her fork come spoon which had tentatively driven into a chunk of egg scramble, stood undecided what to do next. Me? she thought, A computer expert? What sort of computers were around in 1967? She cleared her throat from the surprise of the request and replied, ‘Thank you for the offer Wilhelm. I will see what I can do.’ She emphasised the “I” as in Mirror World, she was indeed the computer expert. However, the concept of a dodgy computer on a boat in 1967, disturbed her more than the prospect of flying. Lumps of mashed toast and egg took up residence in the back of her throat. She coughed, then forced the lumps down.

‘Good, well you can give us a few tips what we can do. I think it’s just some sabotage, courtesy of Boris. But you never know.’ Will chatted nonchalantly mouth full of scrambled egg.

‘In my other life, I worked on computer operational systems that covered the city of Adelaide—Mirror Adelaide 2018.’ She swallowed the egg and smiled weakly.

‘Well, I suppose you could have a look. Can’t do any harm.’ Wilhelm conceded with a hint of reluctance. ‘It’s IGSF equipment. Top Secret, of course. Computers do exist, but they’re monstrous things compared to what we work with in the IGSF.’

‘I was wondering how you could have one on board and not sink,’ Letitia laughed. ‘Fortunately, I am familiar with the IGSF system. In fact, your wife, Frieda trained me.’

‘Frieda?’ Wilhelm raised an eyebrow. ‘She who can’t operate our new washing machine without getting all tangled up?’

‘Actually, by the time she becomes Admiral…Oops, spoiler alert. I mean, she gets quite adept with the programming. But you know, it’s Minna…her…’ Letitia’s voice trailed off into the uncertainty of future happenings.


Letitia waved. ‘Sorry, I’ve said too much already. Probably just what happens on Mirror World.’

‘Perhaps you could check out the computer as soon as possible – this morning even. We could leave this afternoon if you can fix it.’ Will rubbed his hands together and grinned. ‘If we, if we get to Melbourne early, I can fit in some shopping before heading to the conference in Canberra.’

Letitia gulped a large glob of toasted egg and returned the smile. ‘Well, then, what are we waiting for?’

Half an hour later, Letitia began to regret opening her big mouth when she sat confronted with the dinosaur of the computer which Wilhelm had nicknamed “Clarke”.

She stroked the solid polished Huon pine desk and then locking her fingers together, cracked her knuckles. Even the IGSF technology of the day seemed archaic. Did they really fly up to the LaGrange point for Frieda’s birthday party in 1962 using this “dinosaur”?

She peered at the clunky switches and dials, and the grey-green screen that sulked in a blank state at her.

In the background, as if intent on making her task more challenging, Wilhelm prattled on, boasting of his mistress’ (the boat called Fair Lady) prowess in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race in which the vessel did admirably coming somewhere in the middle and not getting smashed to pieces with high seas. Huon Pine maketh the vessel seaworthy, according to Wilhelm. Other yachts apparently were not so lucky in Wilhelm’s no-so-humble opinion.

‘How can I tame “Clarke” with you blathering on?’ Letitia muttered while navigating IGSF cyber-technology of the 1960’s. ‘No wonder we got attacked by Boris and I ended up in Mirror World.’

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021

Feature Photo: Bellerive Marina © L.M. Kling 2011


Want more?

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Read the mischief and mayhem Boris the over-sized alien cockroach gets up to…

Click on the link to my new novel, The Lost World of the Wends


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And how it continues with Mission of the Unwilling

T-Team Next Gen–From Alice to Adelaide (1)

[In 2013, the T-Team, next generation embarked on their pilgrimage to Central Australia. Purpose: to scatter Dad’s ashes in his beloved Central Australia, in Ormiston Gorge.

Over the next few weeks, I will take you on a virtual trip to the Centre and memories of that unforgettable holiday in 2013, with my brother and his family; the T-Team Next Generation.

This time, the T-K Team commence their return to Adelaide from Alice Springs.]

Back to the Big Smoke of the South

After packing up our belongings into our trusty Ford, topping up with petrol, and cash supplies, we departed Alice Springs and headed south to Adelaide. It’s amazing what one discovers retracing our steps to South Australia. In the morning sunlight, there, mini-Ulurus, mini–Kata Tjutas, and mini-Mt Conners.

[Photo 1: Conglomerate Landscape © C.D. Trudinger 1986 ]

At Kulgera, we shared lunch with flies. All around us, people swished at their faces. My glasses kept falling off as I fanned the flies away. In the end, I put on my sunnies. Then, when that strategy failed, we retreated into the roadhouse and had coffee in the restaurant. Self-serve for $3.

[Photo 2: Probably one of the most effective ways to keep the flies at bay © L.M. Kling 2013]

I drove the following 180 kilometres to Marla. A slow drive at times stuck behind cars pulling caravans.

‘Why don’t you over-take?’ Anthony whined.

‘I’m playing it safe,’ I replied. ‘Better to be late, than dead on time.’


The caravan convoy eased into Agnes Creek.

‘Ah, freedom!’ I said and pressed on the accelerator. The Ford powered up to 100 km/h.

‘Careful!’ Anthony warned. ‘Don’t go too fast.’

‘I won’t.’

I kept my promise and maintained a steady 100 km/h all the way to the border of South Australia and Northern Territory.

[Photo 3: Distant memories of entering the NT two weeks prior © L.M. Kling 2013]

There, at the border we parked to check our itinerary of food for fruit and vegetables. Owing to the prevention of fruit fly into South Australia, fruit and vegetables had to be disposed of in the bins provided.  More flies hovered around joining our forage in the back of the Ford.

A passing Northern American tourist remarked, ‘Are South Australian’s so precious?’

‘Yes, we are,’ I muttered to Anthony, ‘how else have we kept the scourge of fruit fly out of our state?’

All around us, fellow travellers hauled out their luggage from their cars or four-wheel drive vehicles and disposed of their fresh produce. None of them looked happy.

Sitting on a picnic table, a lad about Son 1’s age, and wearing a fly net, boiled up a pan of canned corn and peas on a portable gas cooker.

Nodding in their direction, I remarked to my husband, ‘Do they think canned vegetables are a problem?’

‘Quiet, Lee-Anne, they might hear you,’ Anthony snapped.

‘Maybe someone should tell them that it’s only fresh vegetables that need to be disposed of.’

Anthony shook his head. ‘Come on, let’s get going.’

After depositing the few offensive apples and oranges in the bin, we piled into the Ford and charged forth on our journey south down the Stuart Highway.

[Photo 4: Down the Stuart Highway we go. Map of the South Australian outback in information kiosk at Marla© L.M. Kling 2013]

A sign warned penalties for the non-disposal of fruit and vegetables.

Anthony breathed in. ‘Oh, no, what about the potatoes?’

‘We have potatoes?’

Anthony nodded. ‘What are we going to do?’

I shrugged. ‘Eat them? For tea?’

‘How are we going to do that?’

‘I guess we’ll have to stop over at Marla and camp there tonight. Then cook up the potatoes.’

‘I guess I could try and make rösti (Swiss potato bake) on the BBQ facilities provided,’ Anthony sighed. ‘Good luck getting a campsite.’

[Photo 5: Better late than dead on time—car body at Marla © L.M. Kling 2013]

With the potatoes securely stored in the cooler hidden in the Ford, we stepped into Marla’s red brick tourist park office. Tent site? No problem. Plenty of room on the grassy park for campers.

However, fearful that the biosecurity police might emerge from under a mini-Ayers rock and ping us with a hefty fine, I was designated to cook up the potatoes and one offending onion, while Anthony pitched the 2-person tent in the middle of the verdant camping reserve. My potato dish was not exactly rösti, though.

While frying up this “contraband” fare, a familiar white van whizzed past. I stepped out of the BBQ shelter and waved to them. The white van turned around.

The T-Team joined us for our potato and onion fry. Our nephew contributed their stash of vegetables to make a stir fry. Mrs. T shared the T-team’s adventures visiting a friend’s cattle station south of Alice the past couple of days.

My older niece was not her usual cheerful self. While helping me wash the dishes in a crummy camp kitchen with little light, Rick confided in me that she may not have been happy about driving the Oodnadatta track.

‘Yeah,’ I said, ‘she must know that track is full of tacks to bust tyres.’

Rich laughed. ‘Oh, yeah! Maybe we won’t go that way…’

[Photo 6: Reminiscent of past ventures with the T-Team: Lunch at Ernabella with Dad’s brother © C.D. Trudinger 1992]

We waved the T-Team off on their venture south at around 8.30pm. Then Anthony crawled into the tent and began tossing out clothes, bags, and stuff into the frigid cold night.

‘What are you doing?’ I asked.

‘Where are you hiding the drink bottles?’ he cried.

‘Are they in the car?’

‘No, I’ve looked there.’

‘Sure, they’re not in the BBQ hut?’

‘No, where have you hidden them?’

‘I don’t remember, “hiding” them. They must be left somewhere,’ I said. ‘it’s too dark to look for them now, so you might just have to be satisfied with the thermos.’

With a grunt, he who is always right, shrugged on an extra coat, sat outside the tent, sipping hot chocolate from the thermos, and playing with his phone. Wrapped in my sleeping bag, I sat beside the man who had lost his water bottle, and wrote my diary by torchlight. Ours was one lonely tent in an expanse of couch grass.

[Photo 7: Like Father like son-in-law, parting with one’s water container brings such sorrow. Somewhere in this landscape of Liebig is my dad’s lost quart can © C.D. Trudinger 1977]

Having lost the battle to mourn the temporary loss of his water bottle alone, Anthony crawled into bed at 10pm. Soon after, I followed him and in the warmth of the thermal sleeping bag, I soon fell asleep.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021

Feature Photo: Mini Ayers Rock © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2013


Virtual Travel Opportunity

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Trekking with the T-Team: Central Australian Safari. (Australia)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (United States)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (UK)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (Germany]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [France]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (India)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Canada]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Mexico]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Italy]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Brazil]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Spain]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Japan]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Netherlands]

Out of Time (5.2)

A Computer Called Clarke

Part 2

[The continuation of the Survivor Short Story “project” in the War On Boris the Bytrode series. This time, back in time, 1967, following the adventures of middle-aged mum, Letitia…

In this episode (5.2) Fugitive Tails and his stolen charges await Tails’ partner in crime, Maggie’s promised return from Antarctica …]


Liam preferred to forget that day. The Adelaide plains surrounding the airport were blanketed with the chill of an unseasonal sea-fog, and icy rain drops which seemed imported directly from Antarctica. After the broiling heat of summer in Alice Springs; a heat that drives even the locals to seek refuge down south, Adelaide’s weather proved to be just too cold for Liam’s liking. The city skyline hunkered down beneath the mist as if trying to keep warm. Liam vaguely remembered this sister city of his youth, the one in Mirror World, where buildings rose tall and proud and way out of the flight path of sleek-looking aircraft. In contrast, these low-lying buildings and stumpy hills were shrouded in a murky mist, gathering, full of foreboding.

Liam, Max and their father, lined up at the glass; sad pathetic ducks at a sideshow. Waiting. Hoping. Expecting the aeroplane from Melbourne to land any minute. The giant-sized screen of scheduled landings flicked and clicked promised landings and departures.

 ‘The flight should have landed five minutes ago.’ Tails paced behind his sons. ‘You said she rang and that she was coming, Liam. You told me!’

‘It’s 1967, Dad,’ Liam spat, ‘That’s what you keep telling us.’

‘Yeah, Dad,’ Max rolled his eyes and added, ‘and it’s not Mirror World. So, the planes are old-fashioned and not as efficient.’

‘You still remember, that? I mean, Mirror?’

‘Yes, Dad,’ Max sighed, ‘We’re not stupid.’

‘And it was mum what spoke to you from ‘obart?’

‘Yes, Dad,’ Liam replied.

[to be continued…]

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021

Feature photo: Swans on the Torrens, Adelaide circa 1960 © S.O. Gross circa 1945


Want more?

More than before?

Read the mischief and mayhem Boris the over-sized alien cockroach gets up to…

Click on the link to my new novel, The Lost World of the Wends

Or discover how it all began in The Hitch-Hiker

And how it continues with Mission of the Unwilling

Story Behind the Painting–Standley Chasm

An Episode from The T-Team With Mr B

[While painting this scene of a group of older men gathering to admire the glowing walls of Standley Chasm, I was reminded of the T-Team’s trek in 1977 with Mr. B. This wealthy man used to comfort and luxury, took on the challenges of roughing it camping with the T-Team. This stunning chasm is about 50km west of Alice Springs and is one of the first of many beautiful sites to visit in the MacDonnell Ranges.]

Standley Chasm — Angkerle Atwatye

Mr. B slowed the Rover and eased it into a park joining the line of cars, land rovers, and buses awaiting their owners’ return. The T-Team piled out of the Rover and in single-file, followed Dad along the narrow track heading towards Standley Chasm. In the twists and turns of the trail that hugged the dry creek bed, I spotted ferns in the shadow of rock mounds the colour of yellow ochre, and ghost gums sprouting out of russet walls of stone. Hikers marched past us returning to the car park.

[1. Photo: Path to Standley Chasm © L.M. Kling © L.M. Kling 2013]

‘G’day,’ they said. ‘Well worth it.’

Dad checked his watch and quickened his pace.

I ran to catch Dad. ‘Have we missed out?’

‘We better hurry,’ Dad snapped.

A leisurely short stroll became a race to the finish as we struggled to keep up with Dad; scrambling over boulders on the track, squeezing past more tourists going to and from the chasm, Dad snapping and cracking the verbal whip, and Mr. B moaning and groaning that “it’s not for a sheep station”.

[2. Photo: Ghost gum and ferns on way to Standley Chasm © L.M. Kling 2013]

The crowd thickened, stranding us in a jam of people, fat bottoms wobbling, parents hauling their whinging kids, and men clutching cameras to their eyes for the perfect shot. Dad checked his watch and then shifted the weight from one foot to the other.

‘Are we there yet?’ I asked.

Wrong question. Especially when asking a grumpy Dad.

‘Not yet!’ Dad barked.

‘I reckon we’re not far away,’ I said. ‘All the tourists have stopped. Must be some reason.’

Dad screwed up his nose. ‘I dunno, it doesn’t look right.’

‘Excuse me! Excuse me!’ Mr. B, one arm stretched out before him, parted the sea of people and strode through.

We followed in Mr. B’s wake and within twenty paces, there it glowed. Standley Chasm. Both walls in hues of gold to ochre. Dozens of people milled around its base.

[3. Photo: No quite the right time but still awesome: Standley Chasm © L.M. Kling 2013]

Dad gazed at the chasm, and then squinted at the position of the sun. ‘It’s not there yet.’

‘How long?’ I wanted to know.

‘Not long, just wait.’ Dad paced towards a white gum that bowed before the grand wonder of the chasm.

‘Wait! I’ll take a photo of you,’ I said.

‘Do you have to?’

‘Why not?’

‘We might miss the walls turning red.’

‘They turn red that quickly?’

Dad leaned up against the tree. ‘I s’pose not.’

I dug out my instamatic camera and photographed my grumpy Dad.

[4. Photo: While we wait, a grumpy Dad before the chasm © L.M. Kling (nee Trudinger) 1977]

Then we waited. The tourists snapped their shots and then filtered away.

‘When’s it going to turn red?’ I asked for the fourth time.

‘Be patient,’ Dad said.

‘This is boring,’ Matt mumbled.

‘Let’s see what’s the other side.’ Richard tapped Matt on the arm. The two lads scrambled over the rocks and I watched them hop from one boulder to the next over a small waterhole.

[5. Photo: The rocks’ reflection, Stanley Chasm © L.M. Kling 2013]

Dad paced from one wall to the next while Mr. B photographed Standley Chasm from every angle.

I watched mesmerized by the sunlight playing on the walls. They turned from a russet-brown on one side, gold on the other, to both glowing a bright orange. But by then, most of the tourists had left, thinking the Chasm had finished its performance for the day.

[6. Photo: Well worth the wait; Stanley Chasm, just the right time © L.M. Kling (nee Trudinger) 1977]

[7. Painting: Dad’s Standley Chasm in watercolour © C.D. Trudinger circa 1955]

As the other wall turned in hue to sienna, Mr. B packed his camera in his leather case and stood back admiring the view.

‘Get some good shots?’ Dad asked.

‘I reckon I did.’ Mr. B patted his camera bag. ‘You know, once the crowds thinned out, I reckon I got some good ones.’

‘Ah, well, I’ve seen Standley Chasm put on a better show in the past.’ I think Dad was trying to justify not having a functional camera.

‘Well, I enjoyed it,’ I said. ‘This place is amazing!’

[8. Photo: Stanley Chasm mid-afternoon; still the same perfect light 36 years later © L.M. Kling 2013]

Dad patted me on the back. ‘Ah! Lee-Anne, you haven’t seen anything yet. Wait till you see Ormiston Gorge.’

‘By the way, where are tha boys?’ Mr. B asked.

‘Looks like we have to be patient and wait for them now.’

‘I hope your son doesn’t get ma boy lost.’

Dad laughed. ‘No worries. There they are, just the other side of the chasm.’ He waved at the boys.

Richard and Matt scrambled through the chasm to join the T-Team on the hike back to the Rover.

[9. Photo: Actual photo of men admiring Stanley Chasm © L.M. Kling 2013]

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016; updated 2018; 2021

Feature Painting: Men Admiring Standley Chasm © L.M. Kling 2018


Want more? More than before?

Read more of the T-Team adventures…

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Trekking with the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981

Out of Time (5.1)

A Computer Called Clarke

Part 1

[The continuation of the Survivor Short Story “project” in the War On Boris the Bytrode series. This time, back in time, 1967, following the adventures of middle-aged mum, Letitia…

In this short episode (5.1) Letitia comes to terms with her mission, but learns that time is of the essence…]

The Department Should Pay

Letitia tottered down to the Sandy Bay shore. Dark. Only the streetlights to guide her steps. She needed time and space to process her part in the mission her father, daughter and the IGSF had planned for her.

‘At least it’s a warm night; warmer than Antarctica,’ she muttered. ‘I’ll try and get some sleep, then work out what to do in the morning.’ She chuckled while clutching her stomach. ‘Perhaps, I can get the Education Department to pay for my fare to Adelaide. Me? A teacher? What next?’ She sighed and kicked the sand. ‘How long can I keep up the “Teacher-act”, I wonder?’ She flung her arms about in grand gestures, rehearsing her role. ‘Good morning class, I am your new English teacher, the wonderful, the magnificent invisible Miss Fahrer, or would that be Driver? Am I going to be persecuted for having a German name? Nah, it’s Adelaide, I’ll be right. I wonder where I’ll be? If it’s the Barossa, I’ll definitely be alright. Okay, not sure how I’ll manage the critters. But you know, if they start throwing paper at me, I can always disappear.’

Letitia twirled and tripped on a stone. Over-balanced. Falling…

Great! Not again!

Strong arms cradled her and lifted her upright.

Balanced, Letitia blinked, allowing her eyes to adjust to the dull tones of night.

Wilhelm’s bleached blonde hair and ghost-like complexion glowed against the blackness. ‘Whoopsy-daisy, you nearly took a tumble.’

‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to…you know…impose…I just…’ Letitia stammered.

‘It’s okay.’ Wilhelm released her arm but remained facing her. ‘I’m so sorry that they have dumped this mission on you. If there’s anything I can do to help.’

‘Teaching is the one profession, I never wanted to do.’ Letitia wiped a stray tear that had decided to roll down her cheek. ‘Actually, you know, if I have to be a teacher, which I should remind you most emphatically, that I am not. But if I have to be, well, it’s only fair if they get the Education Department to pay for my fare back to Adelaide. Don’t you think? After all, how else am I going to get there? I have no money. And it would be for a good cause. You see, Tails and Maggie, those two scoundrels…they have stolen your, your’s and Frieda’s grandchildren…’

Wilhelm’s eyes widened. ‘Grandchildren?’

‘In my future. I think,’ Letitia said almost in a whisper, ‘I think, or this world is like a parallel world to mine, but out of time, sort of. I guess there must be…’

Wilhelm breathed out with a whistle. ‘Phew! And there I thought you were the embodiment of the crazy woman inside my head. Parallel worlds, well, that sounds novel—Man In the High Castle stuff.’

‘What? No, I’m serious, I thought, you being part of the IGSF and fight against Boris, I thought you must have some understanding that parallel universes are a thing.’

‘I do, I do,’ Wilhelm caught her arm. ‘But we can’t tell Frieda that. She’s still trying to get her head around time-travel. Which, even I can’t believe is possible. But hey, I get your drift. As I said, with some of the strange things that have happened to me. And to be honest…’ He turned Letitia around and guided her up the steps to the house. ‘Look, we need to drive to my boat tonight. We need to move on this plan. The Admiral called and said that time is of the essence.’

‘Won’t your wife get upset?’

‘She’s used to it.’ Wilhelm sighed. ‘It’s all part of working for the Intergalactic Star Fleet. Oh, and pretending to be a psychiatric doctor.’

He opened the basement garage with his remote and led her to his Aston Martin Coupe.

Within minutes they were gliding across the Tasman Bridge, over the brooding Derwent River, to Bellerive Marina.

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021

Feature Photo: On Sandy Bay shores © L.M. Kling 1995


Want more?

More than before?

Read the mischief and mayhem Boris the over-sized alien cockroach gets up to…

Click on the link to my new novel, The Lost World of the Wends


Or discover how it all began in The Hitch-Hiker

And how it continues with Mission of the Unwilling