Her Outback Surprise(62)

By: Annie Seaton

It seemed almost a lifetime ago since she had received the phone call from Gran—that call that seemed to be changing so many lives. Stopping at the front gate where a solid wire fence separated the farm from the dusty outback road, Jemima held onto the post as she stood watching the waving fields of golden wheat on the neighbour’s property across the road and thought back to that day twelve months earlier.

To everyone’s astonishment, Liam had decided to stay working at the farm, once his time was up. Even though Sebastian and Jemima had come for their six months, albeit later than planned, Liam’s announcement that he had decided to stay for good had stunned them all. He was now engaged to Angie, the local vet, and they were about to move in together, closer to town, while they planned a new house to be built near the bore at the back of Prickle Creek Farm. Liam was also involved with the alliance that was fighting the introduction of coal seam gas, and doing some occasional reporting for the local Spring Downs paper.

Jemima smiled as she walked to the large milk crate that doubled as the farm mailbox. She had a plan but hadn’t disclosed it to anyone yet.

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Glossary of Australian Terms

Akubra: a type of broad-brimmed hat worn by farmers and cattlemen in Australia.

B&S ball: Bachelor and Spinster (B&S) balls are regular social occasions in rural Australia, known locally as “B&S balls” or simply “B&S’s.” They are often held in wool sheds and are usually attended by young (18 years and older) spinsters and bachelors. Traditionally, the couples dress up in formal wear.

Battered sav: saveloys are a seasoned hot dog–like sausage. A battered sav is a saveloy which has been battered, deep fried, and is often served on a stick with tomato sauce.

Bikkie: an Australian abbreviation for sweet biscuits (cookies).

Bore: a bore is where you find groundwater by drilling a bore into underground water storages called aquifers.

CWA: the CWA (Country Women’s Association) is the largest women’s organisation in Australia and aims to improve conditions for country women and children.

Dam: a reservoir used as a water supply.

Fairy Floss: cotton candy, a form of spun sugar.

Header: a versatile machine designed to efficiently harvest a variety of grain crops.

Milk bar: a corner shop that sells milk drinks and other refreshments.

Paddock: a small field.

Prickle: a short pointed outgrowth on a plant; a small thorn.

Pilliga Scrub: a forest of some 3,000 km2 of semi-arid woodland in temperate north-central New South Wales, Australia.

RSL: the Returned Services League is a support organisation for men and women who have served or are serving in the Australian Defence Force and provides a social club in communities.

Slice: a sweet such as a cake, or iced biscuit, cut and served in slices.

Swimmers: a bathing suit.

Sloane Ranger: a fashionable upper-class young woman, especially one living in London.

Smoko: a break from work where a cup of tea and cake and biscuits is generally eaten.

Thermos flask: a vacuum flask that preserves the temperature of hot or cold drinks.

Ute: a utility vehicle—a pickup truck, in Australia or New Zealand.

Yabbies: freshwater crayfish species found in Australia.


To Erin Molta, one of the best editors ever! Thank you for polishing my words and making sense of my story.