Author Archives: bkpyett

About bkpyett

Barbara is a budding writer, with her first published children's book, 'Lily's Wish'. Retired in country Victoria, her husband, Christopher, is a full time painter and Barbara is consumed with a garden and her writing activities.

Love is Blind

After gardening I notice some annoying bumps on the back of my hand. My first instinct is to worry in case they are warts.

Next day, at breakfast, I observe the rash appears less inflamed; it must be the result of something I’ve touched in the garden.

I say to Joe, ‘Feel this, what do you think it is?’

‘Braille, it says, “I Love You”, but it’s missing the comma.’

‘But ‘I Love You,’ doesn’t need a comma.’

‘Then it says, ‘immensely and deeply!’

How can I worry about a few bumps after such an interpretation?

Expectation

The heart, the organ donned in electric pinks and vibrant reds for Valentines Day, encourage so many poets to write verse. What a lot of fuss. Frieda and her husband don’t follow this tradition.

In her teenage years there were times when she was aware of her heart racing; with the excitement and the agitation of love that sent her rhythm into presto and appassionato. Not just in her teenage years, she supposes, though it all seems so long ago. In that state of high alert, she did stupid things that she’d rather forget. She and Helen Young sat together in Grade Four. They both fell for the new boy, Walter Wright, who sat directly behind them. He wore long trousers. None of the other boys did. It made him seem so grown up. Helen and Frieda went down to Coles and pooled their money to buy him a 1/6 d watercolour paint set. They secretly wrapped it and placed it in his desk for Valentine’s Day. They never knew if he ever guessed who had put it there.

Frieda feels she’s been oblivious for decades to the selfless dedication of her pumping heart. It’s reliable ticking, like a metronome, continuing  without payment or praise. Those memories from the past are best forgotten. She should pay more attention to the present and to her time signature of adagio and even adagissimo.

Now in her eighth decade an occasional twinge will remind her that life is finite. Should she give up rich and sumptuous foods to ease the burden on her heart? No, life is to be lived to the full, with that she gives thanks to the universe. When the metronome stops, she’ll be grateful to have lived a full and happy life.

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/expectation/”>Expectation</a>

 

Barbara Pyett                                                                           February 2017

 

January

A break from routine allows the richness of conversation and shared meals with family and friends; plus the unspoken: pulling weeds, mulching, fertilizing, children to stay, shopping, pruning, cooking, cleaning windows, general cleaning, washing, ironing, washing up, sweeping, picking fruit and vegetables, making jam and chutney, watering, stewing fruit for the freezer, reading, writing letters to those neglected at Christmas time and contemplating getting the year organized making a list to get things fixed.

The TV is on the blink. The solar hot water system needs replacing. The cement step from the absent spa must be removed. Gutters are choked. Solar panels need cleaning. The cubby needs fresh paint. The dishwasher died and needs replacing. Edging around the garden beds need attention since the lawns haven’t been mown. Incessant need of sweeping gum leaves from driveway, patio and paths. Lopping grevilleas and correas to maintain bushiness. Finally, book an appointment with the physio to restore use of shoulder.

‘What do you think caused this bursitis?’ Lachlan asks.

I resist giving him a blow by blow explanation.

Resist“>Resist

Dreaming

‘You’re away with the fairies.’

This surprised me, as I believed I was an ordinary person. Perhaps when I was young I was a bit of a sylph and a little unworldly at times but I thought I’d grown up and left that behind. Continuing to think, I realized not everyone dreams. Maybe she was right.

 

Dreams are a very big part of my life. So far, flying dreams have been hard work. Flapping my arms is exhausting. It would be wonderful to fly effortlessly. Just to float, relax and enjoy the sensation without strain.

 

Today’s prompt, ‘float’, is what I’ll do in preparation for sleep and may be it will happen.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/float/”>Float</a>

Rosalie Blum: film review

 

Yesterday, being another hot day, the air-conditioning of the cinema tempted me to see a film I’d heard about.

 

‘Rosalie Blum’ is a delightful French film. Having actors who appeared normal rather than super stars is one of the reasons I love French cinema. They appear so believable and make it easier for me to relate to the story.

 

This story is set in a village in France. It starts with the character, Vincent, who has friends, but lives a lonely life. His mother is a manipulating person and it takes time for him to finally stand up to her. He becomes obsessed with Rosalie Blum, another lonely person.

That sounds pretty straight forward, but it isn’t that simple.

Rather than give away the plot, I’d love to hear from others who may have seen this thought provoking film.

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/tempted/”>Tempted</a>

Renewal

Renewal looks a strange word; it looks like three words in one.

I’m procrastinating…

If you are feeling your age, I’ve just read a book you might enjoy.

It is about a widow and widower who cross an invisible societal line in their small community. They feel that they’ve reached the age where they don’t care what others think.

‘Our Souls at Night’ is written by Kent Haruf. If you’re feeling you need to change your life in some way or just need a good read, this is the book for you. Haruf writes about two people in their seventies who find love and friendship with poignancy, charm and believability.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/renewal/”>Renewal</a&gt;

The Christmas Star

Last year our seven-year-old grandson gave us a beautiful ornate glass star that looks like crystals in a chandelier if you focus your eyes correctly. This year I asked Chris to hang it above the tree.

Beginning with the ruler, measuring meticulously in one direction and then the other, he proceeded to find a spot in the high raked ceiling for the hook.

Fighting to penetrate the hard wood, finally the hook was in place.
Climbing down the ladder, Chris heard his father’s voice in his head say, ‘Don’t worry sport, you can move the tree!’

This is exactly what he would have said.

Jack’s Present

This is a revised Christmas story written a few years ago.

Jack’s Present

Emily’s mum had helped her stir the special ingredients of oats and sparkling gold glitter and measured them into 15 envelopes.
On the front of each envelope were the instructions:

‘Sprinkle this reindeer food outside tonight.
The moonlight will make it sparkle bright.

Millie as a puppy

Millie as a puppy

As the reindeer fly and roam,
this will guide them to your home.’

Emily had signed each one ‘Love Emily’.
She proudly gave them to her friends at Day Care.
Jack put his away safely.

Jack and his brother, Mackenzie, watched Mum pack their case. Jack made sure that his envelope from Emily was in his bag. They were driving to their grandparents and Millie’s house for Christmas. Santa must know where to find them.

Christmas Eve, Jack and Mackenzie left out a bottle of beer and some biscuits for Santa. Then they sprinkled Jack’s reindeer food outside before hopping into bed to have a story.

Whilst the children slept, Millie, the puppy, thought the reindeer food was put out in the courtyard for her, so she ate it all up.

Luckily Santa still managed to find his way.

The next morning Jack and Mackenzie discovered their bulging stockings and ran to show their parents.

Everyone decided to take Millie for her walk before breakfast.

They had to wait while she searched for a special spot under a callistemon tree.

‘How come Millie’s poo is glittering?’ asked Jack.

‘Wow, you’re right,’ chuckled Grandpa, as he scooped it into a bag.

‘It’s her way of wishing everyone a happy Christmas!’

Mackenzie laughed. ‘Millie’s a clever dog!’

‘What a treat! But remember, my treasures,

all that glitters is not gold!’ said Grandpa.

Mackenzie and Jack

Mackenzie and Jack

Christmas, past and present

Christmas, past and present

Singing carols in church began the day, then breakfast. Presents under the tree remained unopened until everyone had finished their bacon and eggs. My father always took so long, chewing every mouthful thirty times.

My grandmother and grandfather’s Christmas dinner included everyone, usually their four children and families, plus. Memories of great aunts and uncles, three great grandparents and Miss Benjifield. The films of these joyful celebrations, that my Uncle Henry took, show the oldest generation gradually diminishing with the next generation expanding, so we continued to fill the large T shaped tables.

My grandfather carved the turkey. My grandmother divvied out baked vegetables, gravy and succulent new peas from the garden. An enormous Christmas pudding then arrived with much, ‘Oohing and Aahing.’ Homemade ice cream, whipped cream and fresh strawberries and raspberries accompanied it. Finding a sixpence in our pudding was exciting, even if we weren’t keen on eating it. Uncle John, a baptist minister, was insistent he didn’t get a coin, so my grandmother would inform him he must have swallowed it, as she had seen to it that he’d had one. My grandmother was presbyterian, so no alcohol was consumed at her house.

After dinner other relatives and friends came for afternoon tea. This was set up out in the garden where folding chairs were placed under the decorated jacaranda tree. The oldest generation sat ensconced in their semicircle watching. Reflected light lit their soft white wrinkled faces, shadowed by their sunhats and veils.

How I took so much for granted, accepting the traditions as if food appeared by magic.

In the nineteen seventies my mother took over the Christmas Day preparations when my widowed, arthritic grandma became too old and infirmed. Mum managed seamlessly. Having five children who multiplied with eleven grandchildren, plus some waifs and strays, the laden table seemed limitless. Miss Nichols replaced Miss Benjifield. My father included alcohol in to the festivities.

We continued the traditions. My father was reluctant to go to church, though he always joined us on Christmas Day. One year the whole family sat in our usual pew. On the way out the minister said to my father, ‘And who are you?’

He replied,

‘I’ll give you three guesses,’ and walked on, grinning at mum.

My enchanted childhood invigorates me to try harder. Christopher and I have five children between us. They each have partners and children. Nobody lives locally. Families from afar must stay. Two boys live in the city, an hour away, which means they come for the day. Others live further afield so it is special when we all gather to catch up on all those stories that haven’t been shared due to the business of modern living.

Love remains the kernel of this sacred day. We try to minimise the commercial hype and have time to listen and talk to one another and enjoy the children’s excitement. Mobile phones and ipads have become unnecessary distractions.

Customs remain, such as: food preparations, weeding and cleaning. I think of my mother and my grandmother. How could they remain so calm and tolerant, never complaining? Were they like me? I gather my thoughts and hope I haven’t forgotten anything. Christopher has repaired two woodworm eaten legs of the outdoor table. Visualising poinsettias as the centerpiece on the table, I pretend nil desperandum and try to remain serene. Traditions change gradually and will continue to change. We shall make the most of our time and attempt to create happy memories for the next generation.

I realize that we are privileged to have grandchildren and to have family around us. Blessings and love to all of you who have had the stamina to read this and may you have a very Merry Christmas!