Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hats, Children’s picture book

Today my picture book arrived! It was very exciting as we’ve been told parcels are taking longer due to lockdown and Covid. Austin Macauley sent bookmarks, pamphlets, books, all ready to launch when lockdown finishes. It will be rather low-key but a thrill never the less.

I’ve also learned that in Australia the book is available through Dymocks, Booktopia and Amazon. The postage from the UK is very expensive, so these options make it more accessible. I haven’t learned how to add photo, so shall have to relearn how to blog!

Thanks for reading!


Recently released children’s book, ‘Hats’

Barbara Pyett’s background is as a special education teacher. For the last two decades she has been a writer living in Victoria, Australia. She shares her fantasy world with her childhood friend and partner. They unite in their fascination for dreams which germinate ideas for stories. Barbara writes as Christopher paints. Their idyllic life-style has been enhanced with nine grandchildren, who continue to inspire further stories.

Barbara’s first children’s book, Lily’s Wish, was published by New Frontier Publishers in 2011. It is an early childhood Christmas picture book. Lily lives in the UK and writes to Santa asking for wings, so that she can fly. She misses her Grandmother in Australia and wants to be able to fly to visit her.

Hats, an early childhood picture book, released on 30 September 2021 by Austin Macauley. This children’s book of poems was inspired by the game of hats she played with her own children. The game includes all age groups which in itself  becomes a learning tool for little ones to increase their vocabulary. Hats is illustrated by Vinh Tran with quirky, vibrant illustrations which are anime inspired.

Review for Hats

Barbara’s Children’s book, Hats, portrays, with engaging illustrations, options for children to choose from when asked the question, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ The fun aspect for kids in this rhyming story is the focus on hats. Kids love to wear hats when they dress up and this story will inspire their imaginations and conversations about the variety of roles people play in society.

Janice Lawrence

B.Ed. M.Ed.

Review for Hats 

In this sprightly, nimble and gently amusing book, Barbara Pyett explores the realm of adult vocation from the point of view of the young child. Euphonious and instructive, her rhymed stanzas are both memorable and playful.

The list of occupations is prefaced by the question,’When I grow up what shall I be?’

This is a perfect springboard into the domain of work – each vocation seen through the lens of its characteristic hat.

This hat motif gives the book its consistency and playfulness, as it draws the child into an assortment of roles, enabling them to role-play the part they see unfolding.

Pyett’s use of rhyme is delightful, and functions as an aid to the child’s memory, as well as instructively showing them opportunities and pathways that may lie ahead. At every stage we sense the equality of diverse roles in society.

Pyett also very subtly brings in the theme of climate change and its ravages. Her characters are seen as doing their utmost to mitigate fire and flood.

From builder to princess, from baker to vet, from sea captain to gardener, and from doctor or nurse to apiarist and teacher, the verse covers an expansive scope, leading at the end of the book to a suggested game for children to play, thus giving them through hats a costume play and reason to dream of the future.

Hats is illustrated by the whimsical Vinh Tran, whose pictures complement in their freshness and humour the same qualities in Pyett’s verse.

Lucy Wilks

Poet and musician

Foreverbear, is Pyett’s next early childhood picture book, release date, yet to be announced. This book is also being published by Austin Macauley and reflects on the loss of a grandparent.

A child relates her sorrow with her teddy bear who finds he can talk. They share memories remembering the good times.


‘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=””>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=””>Tempted</a>

Computer troubles overcome:

Having been off the air for some time, I forgot to mention that my beloved contacted a firm to help me resolve my computer problems.

MacKeepers are a firm who assist Apple owners resolve their problems remotely. I had lost use of my iPhotos and not being resourceful and wanting to go out of my way, instead found other things to keep me occupied, rather than fix the problem. The first man to help lived in the Ukraine. By paying rather a lot, I now have oversight of my computer without having to worry about new bugs invading. The first help took 13 hours to rectify the 2052 problems and freed up some GBs. It is now in the regular helpful hands of MacKeepers who are also at the end of the telephone if I have questions or problems. This is a wonderful service and I really am grateful to have the computer back. Of course there are lessons for me to learn to help keep my computer healthy. I have utilised this telephone service once and the man was very patient and talked me through, seeing what was on my screen he could see what the problem was.

The relief is enormous. I hadn’t realised just how much it was bothering me subconsciously.

Here are a few more photos, left over from my last post of our visit to Arthurs Seat, Mornington Peninsula.

Tree surfing

Tree surfing

One of the Mazes at Enchanted Adventure Garden

One of the Mazes at Enchanted Adventure Garden

The Fairy Garden

The Fairy Garden

Cherio from M & J

Cherio from M & J

Blog Revival 20th March 2016

After having been off the air for some months, I have received several ‘follows’ which have inspired me to pull my finger out. Hello everyone!

I have joined a writer’s group at the Sandy Beach Centre in Sandringham, Victoria, where we meet once a week. We are an eclectic group of people with vastly different interests. Our teacher, Claire, a poet, introduces different genres and writers each week. We share our work and write constructive ideas on one another’s work. It’s a very supportive atmosphere, but it has made me realize just how much I don’t know. I feel like a novice, as so many are far more advanced than I am. This is a good thing, as it keeps me trying harder.

When I last wrote a post, I mentioned a film, Poets’, in which Chris and I had been invited to participate. If you blink you’d miss us! The film was shown in Rosebud at the Short Film Festival and won its section. It will travel Internationally and be shown in Cannes. Congratulations to all concerned, especially the poet, Andrea Louise Thomas and the young Director, Liam Kelly.

A rather important mile- stone was celebrated this February, my seventieth birthday. This inspired me to travel to Tasmania with my eldest daughter to visit relations. Instead of coming home, I continued onto Canberra to spend time with my other two children and their families. This time I ensured I had an extra day to catch up with former work colleagues and friends. Nothing replaces old friends!

Sharing work on the Internet has drawbacks. Some competitions require unpublished work, and therefore I’m saving my short stories, hopefully to compile enough for a book. I did enter one recently in the Ely Writers’ Day, Short Story Competition, U.K. and it was highly recommended. This was a great surprise and a thrill.

Lily’s Wish Book Review

I thank Dixie Minor, who wrote this excellent review, so am trying to reblog her post! I’ve forgotten how already.Her blog can be found at:

Lily’s Wish
Lily’s Wish is a beautiful, whimsical Christmas book that celebrates the special love between children and grandparents. The story features Lily, a small child who wants to fly. At first, we, as readers don’t know the reason Lily wants so badly to be able to fly. But then she writes a letter to Santa Claus, and the wish seems to take wings of its own.
The author, Barbara Pyett, has written a heartwarming story that weaves together the magical moments of Christmas with a very real love that exists all year long: the love of Lily for her grandmother. The book is sure to please children as well as their parents and grandparents, perhaps especially grandparents who do not live close to their grandchildren.
The illustrations, by Serena Geddes, are lovely. Children will be delighted to follow the story through pictures and discover the wonderful surprise that is revealed near the end of the book.
This book will enhance special book-sharing time around the holidays, both for children and for those of us who are still children at heart, especially at Christmas.

The book can be purchased from

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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Note to Self – A Guide to Self Preservation in my Senior Years

Lynn has captured the essence of what we need to remember as we age. A delightful post!

Life After 50

Often, we read about people writing to their younger selves, sharing advice they wish they had known in their earlier years.  This is done in the hopes that another younger person may read it & benefit from this sage advice.  An attempt to somehow lessen the stress & self-doubt a younger person feels as they move forward in life.

This got me to thinking.

At the age of 54, based on my life experience to date, what advice would I deliver to myself in my senior years?  If I had the chance to have a conversation with my older self, what nuggets of knowledge would I feel it necessary to share?

Hopefully one of my kids will have tucked this away in a safe place, waiting for the appropriate time to present me with my own words of advice.  Lord knows, I won’t be able to find it anywhere & I…

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