Category Archives: Re-Blog

Waterhouse Island for sale:

The above article shows pictures of Waterhouse Island, off the Northern coast of Tasmania. My brother, Clive, saw an add for this island back in the 1970s and determined to buy it. My father and brother, Nigel, plus a cousin, Rod, and some friends were roped into the project. Clive and Dad were the ones who maintained the property, keeping sheep to pay off the island. They spent many years planting trees and won a Greening Australia award for their efforts. The fairy penguins and Cape Baron geese claim it as their own. Chris and I share some wonderful memories of staying at this peaceful sanctuary.

‘Getting the Wool off’ Eric Pyett © 1981, is a short story I published on my blog some time ago, written by my father in law, describing the other- worldliness of Waterhouse Island. I’d love you to read it.  For those who missed it, here here is the full post:

When Chris’ parents died, we went through the house before putting it up for sale. We thought we’d finished when I discovered a high cupboard, above the linen cupboard, boxes stuffed full of papers. My first thought was to toss the lot. On reflection and some perusal we discovered Chris’ father had written stories, (unbeknown to us). He had completed courses in mathematics, English literature and philosophy. He was a quiet achiever.

Eric’s quiet, unassuming nature brought him close to my father, as he was a similar character. This short story describes my father, Frank, who was part owner of Waterhouse Island. Tom is Eric. He has encapsulated their characters perfectly. I hope you enjoy his short story:

‘Getting the Wool off’

Reg circled the grassy strip, noting the wind direction, and the sheer drop at the windward end of the runway where the level plateau fell abruptly two hundred feet to the sea. In this breeze, it will be like taking off from the deck of a carrier, he thought.

He circled again for another look, losing height, and searching for hidden fence-wires, or rocks buried in the long billowing grass. Reasonably satisfied, he made a wide banking turn over the island and came in to land at stalling speed. The wheels touched, and the aircraft ran along for a short distance over the bumpy ground before coming to a halt near a stack of up-ended bales of wool, where two men stood waiting.

Reg cut the motors and climbed out.

‘Morning, Frank. Morning, Tom.’ He called. ‘We’ve a nice fine day for it. Good fresh breeze along the strip. What d’you reckon, twenty knots?’

The two men walked over to meet him. Frank, tall and rangy, in a checked shirt and stained khaki pants, a striped woolen hat on his head; Tom, shorter and more stocky, wearing khaki overalls and a black beret.

‘Morning, Reg. Yes, it’s a good day for it. Wind’s in the right quarter and, yes, I suppose it would be about twenty knots.’ Frank studied the short, white-capped waves and the distant shore. ‘Yes, about twenty knots, I’d say.’

‘I saw you looking at the strip, Reg, Tom said. I’ve been over it pretty carefully and filled up all the holes.’

‘Yes, but it’s old fences and bits of wire hidden in the grass that bother me most. They’re inclined to get foul of the wheels, or flick up and hit a prop. But it looks pretty right to me, it’s clear of sheep, anyway,’ Reg chuckled. I nearly landed on top of a sheep once,’ he laughed, ‘it ran the wrong way. I don’t know who got the bigger fright, him or me.’ He squatted down on his heels against the bales, prepared for a yarn. But Frank, who was paying the bills, headed him off.

‘Well, we’d better get on with it, I suppose,’ he said. ‘How many can she lift each trip, Reg? We’ve got seventy-eight all told.’

Reg got to his feet, chewing a stalk of grass, and glanced at the stack of bales.

‘Oh, she’ll lift far more than you can squeeze into her,’ he said. ‘I reckon about four bales will pull you up, but we’ll soon see.’ He opened the big side door of the plane, and hooked it back. All the seats had been removed, except the pilot’s seat, but the space inside seemed very small. They rolled the bales over and lifted one through the doorway.

‘Up in front with this one, ’said Reg. He sunk his hook into the bale and stood it up on end, behind the pilot’s seat. ‘Now another one behind her.’ They lifted another bale through the doorway and stood it up behind the first one. Then another, lying flat on the sloping space in the tail. Then one more, standing up inside the doorway, and the plane was full. Reg was already in his seat, fastening his belt, as the two men closed the door. He glanced around to see that they were clear. Then the motors coughed into life, and the plane swung round and taxied back along the strip.

Reg turned the plane into the wind and revved up the motors, flattening the long grass. He released the brakes and the plane bounded forward, rapidly gaining speed. Half way down the strip they were airborne and climbing. He roared low over the stack of bales and the two watching men, then, catching the up-draught from the cliffs at the end of the strip, he leveled-off for the short trip across the water to the landing strip on the mainland, about ten miles away. The men watched the plane disappearing into the distance.

‘He used only half the strip,’ Frank said. ‘I bet he’ll cut his run much shorter next time.’

‘Yes, He’d no problem getting off in this strong breeze,’ Tom agreed. They sat on the grass in the lee of the up-turned bales. In front of them the island sloped away gently for about a mile, to a low rocky beach on the western side. Beyond that the blue sea, flecked with little white-caps, reached out to the empty horizon. Only to the southward was the sharp division between the sea and the sky interrupted. Here, across the channel, the coastal dunes and scrub hid the farmlands, which spread to the smoke blue ranges beyond.

Tom turned his head listening.

‘He’s coming back, Frank. I can hear him.’ They watched the tiny black spot in the sky growing larger, until the plane banked steeply and dropped down to land two hundred yards away. Moments later it stopped beside the stack of bales, and Reg jumped out.

‘Sixteen minutes for the round trip,’ he said. ‘We can get that down to fifteen this time, I reckon.’ He climbed back into the plane to help stow the first bales. Then, as the last two went in he got back into his seat and fastened his belt. Tom locked the door and stood clear as the motors roared.

This time Reg taxied only half way along the strip before swinging the plane into the wind and pouring on the power. The wheels left the ground as the plane raced past the two men sitting on the stack of bales, and it had gained twenty-five feet of height before crossing the cliff edge and lifting on the up-draught. Reg levelled-off at three hundred feet, singing quietly to himself. It wasn’t really like a carrier take-off, he had to admit. How could it be, in a fifteen-year-old Norman Islander with a belly –full of wool and a top speed of 150 knots? Yet some of the old thrill still remained. It was good to be still flying, and in his own plane too. He sighted the farm buildings, and the landing –strip beyond, with the truck waiting for the wool. A few moments later he commenced his descent.

Back to the island the two men lounged on the bales. Above them the sky was a vast empty dome of cloudless blue. They were watching a skylark which had risen from the grass nearby, and was gradually ascending into the clear air in effortless, soaring flight, singing and trilling in sheer joy.


New words, for all of you:

> The following are results from an OZ-words Competition
> where entrants were asked to take an Australian word,
> alter it by one letter only, and supply a witty definition.
>Clearly, you need to be an Aussie to understand, but I hope you will have a go, even without an    >Aussie background. Good luck! Am including a loose translation of colloquial words so you may all enjoy the humour.
> Billabonk: to make passionate love beside a waterhole

(Billabong: a water hole. Bonk: to have sex).
> Bludgie: a partner who doesn’t work, but is kept as a pet

(Budgie: a pet bird. Bludge: a lazy person).
> Dodgeridoo: a fake indigenous artefact

(Didgeridoo: an Aboriginal wind instrument. Dodgy: tricky).
> Fair drinkum: good-quality Aussie wine

(Dinkum: true, honest).
> Flatypus: a cat that has been run over by a vehicle

(Platypus: Australian, amphibious, egg-laying monotreme).
> Mateshit: all your flat mate’s belongings, lying strewn around the floor

(mate: friend. Shit: has many meanings, in this case, I think it speaks for itself).
> Yabble: the unintelligible language of Australian freshwater crustaceans

(Yabbie: Australian freshwater crustacean. Gabble: unintelligible language).
> Bushwanker: a pretentious drongo, who reckons he’s above average when it comes to handling himself in the scrub

(Bushwalker: someone who walks in the bush. Wanker: to maintain an illusion, deceive oneself or masturbate).
> Crackie-daks: ‘hipster’ tracksuit pants.

(Crack: backside fissure. Daks: tracksuit pants).ATT000098

Re-blog from Brain Pickings:

The Silent Music of the Mind: Remembering Oliver Sacksoliversacks2-150x150
by Maria Popova
“I had no room now for this fear, or for any other fear, because I was filled to the brim with music.”

I was a relative latecomer to the work of Oliver Sacks (July 9, 1933–August 30, 2015), that great enchanter of storytelling who spent his life bridging science and the human spirit — partly because I was not yet born when he first bewitched the reading public with his writing, and partly because those early books never made it past the Iron Curtain and into the Bulgaria of my childhood. It was only in my twenties, having made my way to America, that I fell in love with Dr. Sacks’s writing and the mind from which it sprang — a mind absolutely magnificent, buoyed by a full heart and a radiant spirit.

His intellectual elegance bowled me over, and I felt a strange kinship with many of his oliversacks_alegtostandonpeculiarities, from the youthful affair with iron — although the 300-pound squats of my bodybuilding days paled before his 600 pounds, which set a state record and earned him the moniker Dr. Squat — to our shared love of Beethoven and Mendelssohn.

Indeed, it was his uncommon insight into the role of music in the human experience that first drew me to Dr. Sacks’s writing. I landed into Musicophilia and soon devoured his older writings. Both his science and his life were undergirded by a profound reverence for music — music seemed to be this intellectual giant’s greatest form of spirituality. He knew that the life of the mind and the life of the body were one, and understood that music married the two — an understanding he carried in his synapses and his sinews.

Nowhere did this embodied awareness, nor his luminous soul, come more vibrantly alive than in the remarkable story of how he once saved his own life by song and literature while running from a raging bull in a Norwegian fjord, told in his 1974 memoir A Leg to Stand On (public library) — the story by which I shall always remember him.

To commemorate this irreplaceable man, I asked artist Debbie Millman to create a piece of art illustrating the passage that captures not only the heart of that heartening story, but the spirit in which Dr. Sacks inhabited and exited our world.oliversacks_debbiemillman

The artwork is available as a print and I am donating all proceeds to the Oliver Sacks Foundation.

As the broken instrument of his body is buried motionless and mute into the earth, may the symphony of his spirit live on in his writing with the same eternally resounding vigor as what Dr. Sacks called “one of the world’s great musical treasures” in his final communication with the world:

What a privilege for this world to have been graced with this extraordinary human animal and his fully embodied mind. The only thing left to say is what Dr. Sacks himself wrote to his beloved aunt Lennie, who shaped his life, as she lay dying: “Thank you, once again, and for the last time, for living – for being you.”

A way of doing things better.

Gerard has included a video of this Utopian community. I hope you find time to visit. What a magnificent sustainable environment.

Oosterman Treats Blog

River flowing through Currumbin Eco-village River flowing through Currumbin Eco-village

A break from blogging and delving into the past was welcomed with open arms.  So, if responses to some of you dear friends went missing, a mea culpa. We are now back again. We decided to drive to Queensland and escape the tail end of winter. Apparently, no sooner after we left the Highlands, the heavens opened up. Over 400 millimetres of rain fell within a couple of hours. There were trees blocking roads and weirs overflowed. Evacuations of people into church halls were organized. Volunteers made sandwiches and gave comforts to those whose houses became flooded. Cars were seen being washed down causeways, yet children were cheerfully defying the rain, splashing about, no care in the world. Why should they? Life is yet to arrive for them.

My sister and husband after many moves here and there, told us they had found their ideal nesting ground…

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Detail of carpet at Qantas end of Melbourne airport.

Distance shot of same carpet.

Distance shot of same carpet.

Photos: first of all the Melbourne airport carpet at the Qantas end. This is a continuation and addition to American Barbara’s wonderful carpet post:

Australian airports don’t have the flair that we saw in Barbara’s post of her various carpets in America. Ours seem to be made for heavy traffic and are very mundane and practical. She has made me far more aware of where I’m treading.

I stayed at a B&B on the Mersey River, Devonport, the same road that I lived on as a child. It was wonderful waking up and seeing the river over the parade opposite.


Walking in Devonport each evening was such a peaceful way to exercise. I had no fear after the sun went down walking on my own. Many joggers use the path which has been resurfaced in a soft material.

Looking from the beach to the B&B where I stayed.

Looking from the beach to the B&B where I stayed.

The Mersey at twilight.

The Mersey at twilight.

Rowers on the river

Rowers on the river

A large nest of drift wood at twilight.

A large nest of drift wood at twilight.

A series of public exercise pieces of equipment for all to use.

A series of public exercise pieces of equipment for all to use.


More exercise equipment.

Sea and sky with a sandy beach in the background.

Sea and sky with a sandy beach in the background.

Beautifully kept gardens with running track.

Beautifully kept gardens with running track.

Joggers at twilight.

Joggers at twilight.

Map showing Mersey River and Devonport streets.

Map showing Mersey River and the size of Devonport, Tasmania

Peace at sunset.

Peace at sunset.

Running/ riding track after sunset.

Running/ riding track after sunset.

Pleasant surprise of second hand books to use.

Pleasant surprise on Victoria Parade: second hand books to use. A treat for those away from home.

Rain on my departure day, sorry I was leaving , of course!

Rain on my departure day, sorry I was leaving , of course! Photo taken from Dannebrog Lodge, B&B dining room.

Carpet at Devonport airport .

Carpet at Devonport airport .

Detail of D'port airport carpet.

Detail of D’port airport carpet.

Thanks for travelling with me!


Canberra, our federal capital.


After being fascinated reading American blogging friend, Barbara’s post, about airport carpets, she inspired me to take some photos here in Australia. Melbourne airport is having renovations, so the carpet may be a temporary one. Boring compared to Barbara’s inventive post, even showing how their carpets inspired a tattoo as well as other goods. I hope you have time to read it, if you missed it.

Melbourne airport carpet

Melbourne airport carpet

Canberra, the federal capital of Australia. The glass wall gives a warm welcome to arriving passengers. The granite floor looks new and well cared for.

Canberra, the federal capital of Australia, has a huge glass wall to give a warm welcome to arrivals. The granite(?) floor looks new and well cared for.

Some variations of colour.

Some variations of colour.

Sculpture at Canberra airport

Sculpture at Canberra airport

Grandson, Will, looking out for planes.

Grandson, Will, looking out for planes.

Departure lounge has carpet in seating area.

Departure lounge has carpet in some seating areas.

Departure lounge has large soft leather seats to soften the austere environment.

Departure lounge has large soft round seats to soften the austere environment.

Canberra's autumn sky.

Canberra’s autumn sky.

Visiting Canberra is a delight in autumn with its many deciduous trees. We saw kangaroos at Yarralumla. I was not quick enough to get a close shot.

Tiny dots on the right are the kangaroos!

Tiny grey dots on the right are the kangaroos!

Alright, this is exactly what one shouldn't do, stick a tree in the centre of a photograph. I was trying to be quick to catch the kangaroos, that I didn't see the tree.

Alright, this is exactly what one shouldn’t do, stick a tree in the centre of a photograph. I was trying to be quick to catch the kangaroos, so I didn’t see the tree.

Autumn changes

Autumn changes

Canberra has a cycle path 100km long.

Canberra has a cycle path 100km long.


Married to an artist, I had to take a photo of this rainbow cake.

Married to an artist, I had to take a photo of this rainbow cake.

Good Appetite!

Good Appetite from Canberra!




Mozart’s Magnificent Love letters: from Brain Pickings, a free weekly newsletter.

Mozart’s Magnificent Love Letter to His Wife
by Maria Popova
“If people could see into my heart I should almost feel ashamed.”

It’s hardly surprising that humanity’s most beautiful minds — the creative visionaries who bequeath us with the finest works of art, music, and literature — should also be the ones who author the most bewitching love letters, that highest form of what Virginia Woolf called “the humane art.” One particularly heartwarming specimen of the genre comes from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756–December 5, 1791) — doubly so for the unusual start of the romance that would become the love of his life.

In late 1777, Mozart fell in love with Aloysia Weber — one of four daughters in a highly musical family. Despite the early cultivation of his talent, he was only just beginning to find self-actualization; she, on the other hand, was already a highly successful singer. (A century later, another great composer — Tchaikovsky — would tussle with the same challenge.) Despite her initial interest, Aloysia ultimately rejected his advances.

Over the next few years, Mozart established himself not only as the finest keyboard player in Vienna, but also as a promising young composer. When the father of the family died in 1782, the Webers began renting their house to lodgers to make ends meet. Young Mozart moved in, and soon fell in love with Constanze — the third Weber daughter.

On August 4, 1782, the two were married and remained together, very much in love, until Mozart’s death nine years later.mozart_constanze6

Shortly before his sudden death, in a letter from September of 1790 found in Love Letters of Great Men (public library) — a collection of romantic correspondence featuring Lord Byron, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Voltaire, Leo Tolstoy, and dozens more lovers of letters — Mozart writes to Constanze from Frankfurt, where he had gone seeking gainful employment to remedy the family’s financial downturn:

Dearest little Wife of my heart!

If only I had a letter from you, everything would be all right…

Dearest, I have no doubt that I shall get something going here, but it won’t be easy as you and some of our friends think. — It is true, I am known and respected here; but, well — No — let us just see what happens. — In any case, I do prefer to play it safe, that why I would like to conclude this deal with H… because I would get some money into my possession without having to pay any out; all I would have to do then is work, and I shall be only too happy to do that for my little wife.

After a getting a few more practical matters out of the way, Mozart fully surrenders to the poetical:

I get all excited like a child when I think about being with you again — If people could see into my heart I should almost feel ashamed. Everything is cold to me — ice-cold. — If you were here with me, maybe I would find the courtesies people are showing me more enjoyable, — but as it is, it’s all so empty — adieu — my dear — I am Forever

your Mozart who loves you
with his entire soul.

But even lovelier than the signature is the part that comes after it. Mozart violates in the most endearing of ways Lewis Carroll’s rule about postscript and writes:

PS. — while I was writing the last page, tear after tear fell on the paper. But I must cheer up — catch — An astonishing number of kisses are flying about — The deuce! — I see a whole crowd of them. Ha! Ha!… I have just caught three — They are delicious… I kiss you millions of times.

Re-blogged from Brenda Ann’s ‘The Love Revolution.’

Brenda Ann inspires me constantly with her posts. Her positivity and hope for a better future are always there to spur me on. I hope you enjoy this post too:



“There’s a new world somewhere, they call the promised land”. These words have echoed in my mind, unbidden, on many occasions in the past few years like some echoed message from the ethers, always making me just stand up and pay attention. I am not one to latch onto the movement that is afoot that talks about the coming Ascension, DNA activation, Galactic councils or 5th Dimension stuff. This is not to say these things are not real, just that they are not resonating with me at this point. Who knows… tomorrow I may wake up with a whole new understanding about the situation, but for now I can only go by what my own experience has brought me.

There is a shift happening. Most definitely. I have no label for it, but here is what I am experiencing as the times change. I see archaic systems of government and business begin to exhibit greater and greater nastiness, ultimately to crumble. On a personal level I feel it in the way time sometimes seems to jump, past present future all balled up into one. I find myself having waves of sheer euphoria and connection and then on the opposite end of the spectrum, waves of desperation and fear. It feels like all of the old ego based stuff is bubbling to the surface so that it can finally be evicted for good. Relationships that have reached their expiry date are falling away with little or no effort. New relationships are forming with people who seem to have like minds and spirits. It is all very subtle, and yet not so subtle and it seems that once I turn my attention to what is happening it comes much more clearly into focus.

It appears to me that the earth is making the shift from fear into love. We are nearly at critical mass where we reach that perfect Tipping Point and humanity will be brought into a new paradigm where love, integrity, authenticity and compassion are the norm and fear, greed, competition and avarice are left behind. Sounds idyllic, don’t you think? Spiritual teacher Matt Kahn calls it the Love Revolution, and while I am usually not much into labels, this one is pretty awesome, so I am just going to go ahead and borrow it. Thanks Matt!

The Love Revolution begins with such simple steps. We start to hold kindness and compassion in our hearts instead of judgment and fear. Our words fall like gentle rain, they don’t resound like thunder. We realize how important it is to love ourselves first, and that love becomes the message we bring to the world. After awhile we notice that our energetic vibrations become the ones that uplift an entire room when we walk in. People are suddenly drawn to us and want to be near, though they don’t know why.

And then things begin to occur to us. Things like, Wow this is a mighty big waste of sweet Mother Earth putting all of this lawn here. What say we dig that up and plant some seeds and grow some food. That way we get good, organic food to eat plus we stop wasting water on growing grass and stop supporting the senseless shipping of food from places so very far away. A local economy begins to make so much sense to us, and wait just one minute! Let’s stick some solar panels on the roof and see if we can’t begin to get off this nasty fossil fuel energy grid.

Tell me the truth. Am I turning into a hippy?

Yeah. I thought so.

We all chose to come to earth at this most interesting time in our evolution as humans. We are spiritual beings having a human experience and we are waking up to this fact in droves. And as we awaken we begin to remember that we are all connected and that collaboration and cooperation are the only things that make sense. Competition becomes irrelevant as we follow our hearts and are guided to compassion and kindness. We begin to be led by the workings of our hearts and not by the thinking of our minds. And as we shift our perception, this new energy joins with the great invisible grid of connection that we are all plugged into and we elevate the hearts of everyone else.

If the only thing you do in a day is to follow your own joy, then understand that you have done enough. Your role can be as easy as that. Or if you really want to join in the fun, just simply reach your hand out and see who needs to grasp it. There will always be someone reaching back.

Just ask Tom Springfield and The Seekers.

There’s a new world somewhere
They call The Promised Land
And I’ll be there some day
If you will hold my hand
I still need you there beside me
No matter what I do
For I know I’ll never find another you

It is a Love Revolution, baby! Let’s Dance!

Brenda Ann Babinski | February 14, 2015 at 8:43 am | Tags: Authenticity, Awakening, love, Matt Kahn, New Earth, Paradigm Shift, Tipping Point | Categories: Intentional living | URL:

Finding Balance: thought for the day

Finding Balance.lettinggo1

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” Rumi

Re blogged Brenda Ann Babinski, found at

I love Brenda Ann’s thoughts and this one is a very important reminder to me as a parent. Love is a wonderful and selfless thing when bringing up young children. It is a sad love when it becomes a selfish, controlling weapon to the children who have grown up. I observed this with my own grandmother and her daughter and determined not to be the same. I hope to find the right balance.

For me there are many more interpretations of this Rumi quotation.  Thoughts allow the mind to follow through with lots of permeations. How many of us wish for something and hold onto that thought, strangling it? If we put that thought out into the Universe, and let go, it allows that thought to be free. Gratitude to the Universe is part of that process. Knowing we’re part of a much bigger picture. Gratitude, love and letting go, help us to become the people we most want to be.

How would you interpret this quotation? Does it have meaning to you too?