Wednesday 28 December 2011

New Book - Soon to be Released

      Post written by Zanado

Have you ever read one of Rosemary Kahn's Books? Mostly she has written children's books, picture books, school readers and the like. You will notice information on 3 of her books right here on this blog.

If you have not yet read her books, you are missing out. BUT, not to worry, there is a NEW book - soon to be released. This one is a novel for teens. It is gripping, exiting, fun and more.

WOOHOO!! Keep a look out!! Watch THIS space

Details to follow.

Sunday 18 December 2011

Handy Tips

Some handy tips found on the net.

Links listed as credited where possible.

We kept a few tips for another post, so do come back to enjoy some more.


.Clever ideas: store bedlinen sets inside their pillowcases
Store bedlinen sets inside one of their own pillowcases and there will be no more hunting through piles for a match.

Clever ideas: bowl as iPhone sound amplifier
Pump up the volume by placing your iPhone / iPod in a bowl – the concave shape amplifies the music.

Cleaver ideas: wet wipe dispenser as plastic bag storage
Re-use a wet-wipes container to store plastic bags.
Clever ideas: baby powder to remove sand from feet 

Add this item to your beach bag. Baby powder gets sand off your skin easily – who knew?!


Clever ideas: velcro strip on wall to hold soft toys 

Attach a velcro strip to the wall to store soft toys.


Clever ideas: gift wrap storage on cupboard ceiling 

Look up! Use wire to make a space to store gift wrap rolls against the ceiling, rather than cluttering up the floor.


Clever idea: stocking over vacuum to pick up lost items 

Gotcha! Find tiny lost items like earrings by putting a stocking over the vacuum hose.

Clever idea: box lid cupcake holder

Make an instant cupcake carrier by cutting x's into a box lid.


Clever idea: how to fold a fitted sheet 

This one is great for those who can’t stand the scrunching and bunching: how to perfectly fold a fitted sheet.


Clever idea: magnetic bobbypin storage 

Forever losing your bathroom essentials? Use magnetic strips to store bobby pins (and tweezers and clippers) behind a vanity door

Clever idea: use shower caps to hold shoes when packing 

A tip for holiday packing. Store shoes inside shower caps to stop dirty soles rubbing on your clothes. And you can find them in just about every hotel!


Clever idea: muffin pan craft storageVia:

A muffin pan becomes a craft caddy. Magnets hold the plastic cups down to make them tip-resistant.


Clever idea: bread tags as cable labels 

Bread tags make the perfect-sized cord labels.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Who Is A Teacher?

From A School Principal's speech at a graduation..

He said "Doctor wants his child to become a doctor.........
Engineer wants his child to become engineer......
Businessman wants his ward to become CEO.....
BUT a teacher also wants his child to become one of them..!!!!
Nobody wants to become a teacher BY CHOICE" ....Very sad but that's the truth.....!!!

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.
One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued,
"What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"

To stress his point he said to another guest;
"You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"

Teacher Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied,
"You want to know what I make?
(She paused for a second, then began...)

"Well, I
make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.

make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor winner.

make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't
make them sit for 5 min. without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.

You want to know what I
(She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table)

make kids wonder.

make them question.

make them apologize and mean it.

make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.

teach them how to write and then I make them write.
Keyboarding isn't everything.

make them read, read, read.

make them show all their work in math.
They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.

make my students from other countries learn everything they need
to know about English while preserving their unique cultural identity.

make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.

Finally, I
make them understand that if they use the gifts they
were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life

( Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)

Then, when people try to judge me by what I
make, with me knowing money isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant. You want to know what I make?


What do you
make Mr. CEO?

His jaw dropped; he went silent.

Wednesday 30 November 2011

Visit to Stellenberg Gardens

           Above image is not of the Gardens mentioned in the article

Visit to the Beautiful Stellenberg Gardens – 
Sunday 6th November 2011

These tranquil gardens were open to the public on Saturday and Sunday last week. As I buy most of my plants from their nursery and because Caroline Magowen, who is now their head gardener, helped me sort out my little garden when I moved in here 11 years ago, I decided to pay them a visit. These gardens, about a kilometer from my home and almost next door to a house owned by my father’s brother, Edgar, in the ‘70’s, have always been a favourite spot of mine.

We were blessed with a glorious sunny day after a week of inclement weather.  I strolled through the ten different sections of the gardens and although there were many other people doing the same thing, I was filled with peace.  It was in fact, like walking through a stately “home” with the many rooms divided by neatly trimmed hedges and some walls; with water features and majestic trees including many old oaks.  There was a pathway of green moss, running between some graceful trees, in one section, definitely the home of fairies! The lawns were so lush and soft that, had I been younger, I might just have rolled down one of the banks, so inviting were those slopes!

The “Medieval Garden” is actually a most interesting vegetable garden with four sections and a fountain in the middle. Companion vegetables and herbs are laid out in rows, some straight others diagonal, and there are fruit trees as well, all looking lush and healthy, much of it ready for picking.

I especially enjoyed the “Garden of Reflection” which is planted in various shades of green, with a hint of blue and three “black” ponds made of slate, in which the water was so still the surrounding trees were perfectly mirrored.    As I walked slowly, deep in thought, I suddenly found myself at the entrance to the “Cherry Walk” and the trees there were heavy with the most beautiful clusters of pink and white blossom. What a sight!

I could have spent the whole day there, but unfortunately, I had other commitments. I will look forward to a return visit next time they open the gardens to the public.
Rosemary, wearing my gardening hat this time!

Thursday 24 November 2011

1950's version of an E-Mail

                               Long ago and far away, in a land that time forgot,
                               Before the days of Dylan , or the dawn of Camelot.
                               There lived a race of innocents, and they were you and me,

                               For Ike was in the White House in that land where we were born,
                               Where navels were for oranges, and Peyton Place was porn.

                               We longed for love and romance, and waited for our Prince,
                               Eddie Fisher married Liz, and no one's seen him since.

                               We danced to 'Little Darlin,' and sang to 'Stagger Lee'
                               And cried for Buddy Holly in the Land That Made Me, Me.

                               Only girls wore earrings then, and 3 was one too many,
                               And only boys wore flat-top cuts, except for Jean McKinney.

                               And only in our wildest dreams did we expect to see
                               A boy named George with Lipstick, in the Land That Made Me, Me.

                               We fell for Frankie Avalon, Annette was oh, so nice,
                               And when they made a movie, they never made it twice..

                               We didn't have a Star Trek Five, or Psycho Two and Three,
                               Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty in the Land That Made Me, Me.

                               Miss Kitty had a heart of gold, and Chester had a limp,
                               And Reagan was a Democrat whose co-star was a chimp.

                               We had a Mr. Wizard, but not a Mr. T,
                               And Oprah couldn't talk yet, in the Land That Made Me, Me.
                               We had our share of heroes, we never thought they'd go,
                               At least not Bobby Darin, or Marilyn Monroe.

                               For youth was still eternal, and life was yet to be,
                               And Elvis  ;was forever in the Land That Made Me, Me.

                               We'd never seen the rock band that was Grateful to be Dead,
                               And Airplanes weren't named Jefferson , and Zeppelins were not

                               And Beatles lived in gardens then, and Monkees lived in trees,
                               Madonna was Mary in the Land That Made Me, Me.

                               We'd never heard of microwaves, or telephones in cars,
                               And babies might be bottle-fed, but they were not grown in jars.

                               And pumping iron got wrinkles out, and 'gay' meant fancy-free,
                               And dorms were never co-Ed in the Land That Made Me, Me.

                               We hadn't seen enough of jets to talk about the lag,
                               And microchips were what was left at the bottom of the bag.

                               And hardware was a box of nails, and bytes came from a flea,
                               And rocket ships were fiction in the Land That Made Me, Me.

                               Buicks came with portholes, and side shows came with freaks,
                               And bathing suits came big enough to cover both your cheeks.

                               And Coke came just in bottles, and skirts below the knee,
                               And Castro came to power near the Land That Made Me, Me.

                               We had no Crest with Fluoride, we had no Hill Street Blues,
                               We had no patterned pantyhose or Lipton herbal tea

                                 Or prime-time ads for those dysfunctions in the Land That
                                           Made Me, Me.

                               There were no golden arches, no Perrier to chill,
                               And fish were not called Wanda, and cats were not called Bill

                               And middle-aged was 35 and old was forty-three,
                               And ancient were our parents in the Land That Made Me, Me.

                               But all things have a season, or so we've heard them say,
                               And now instead of Maybelline we swear by Retin-A.
                               They send us invitations to join AARP,
                               We've come a long way, baby, from the Land That Made Me, Me.

                               So now we face a brave new world in slightly larger jeans,
                               And wonder why they're using smaller print in magazines.
                               And we tell our children's children of the way it used to be,
                               Long ago and far away in the Land That Made Me, Me.

                               If you didn't grow up in the fiftys,
                               You missed the greatest time in history,
                               Hope you enjoyed this read as much as I did.
                               If So, Share ....

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Places I have and have not been

Guest Post by Unknown Author - 
    We found this on the Internet, Author was not indicated. If you know who the Author is please let us know. It is BRILLIANT!

I have been in many places, but I've never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can't go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.

I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I'm not too much on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting older.

One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!

And, sometimes I think I am in Vincible but life shows me I am not!

I have been in Deepshit many times; the older I get, the easier it is to get there.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Learning from Rose

 You might have read this before, if so, it is well worth reading again. It is a story that has done the rounds, but has a message each time you read it. 

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.

I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being..

She said, 'Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?'

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, 'Of course you may!' and she gave me a giant squeeze..

'Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?' I asked.

She jokingly replied, 'I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids...'

'No seriously,' I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

'I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!' she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.

We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this 'time machine' as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.

Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, 'I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.'

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, 'We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.

We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.

If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody! Can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.

The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets..'

She concluded her speech by courageously singing 'The Rose.'

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those months ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.

When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they'll really enjoy it!

These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.

REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what we get. We make a Life by what we give.

G-d promises a safe landing, not a calm passage. If G-d brings you to it, He will bring you through it. 

Wednesday 24 August 2011


Some years ago I wrote a piece about the many people I had observed buying magazines, not necessarily for the articles themselves as such, but for the competition prizes offered therein.

This fascinated me at the time. I knew of at least one woman who would buy up to thirty magazines a month and then laboriously fill in, cut out and send off all the entry forms.  At this time she told me that she had already won sunglasses; beauty kits; two handbags; a scarf; beach towels; costume jewellery and a suitcase.

Now years later, I was waiting for a friend in the coffee shop attached to Exclusive Books and to pass the time, (I was early and she is always at least fifteen minutes late), I selected a few magazines from a shelf nearby, out of interest. I am still not a buyer of magazines, so I was curious to see how they had changed.

Well, they are certainly glossier on the whole but those obviously for women up to the age of forty, contained the usual fashion (most of it hideous), make-up ideas; diet tips; exercise advice; and all they could regurgitate about pregnancy; childbirth; breast feeding and child rearing; recipes and healthy lunch box ideas, etc., as well as many “success” stories. These covered the range of illnesses overcome; huge financial obstacles and lack of any form of support and how they had managed to turn their lives around and do good / make vast sums of money / renovate houses /  start their own successful businesses / travel to distant shores / put themselves through University / and finally to proclaim themselves unsung heroes or heroines, or have someone else do it for them. This is not to belittle their individual achievements, which are undeniably great in many cases but to wonder if these people had really managed all this as easily as some had reported, almost single-handed, and if they had given adequate credit where credit is due?

Then of course, there seemed to be sections devoted to the antics and activities of film and stage stars, very few of whom would make good role models. So all in all, these magazines were a supposedly eclectic mix of nothing much to attract my fancy or attention, until I found the “WIN” pages!

My, how those have changed! No longer did I find the “small” offerings of the past. Now each magazine tried to out do the next – 
WIN A TRIP to Disneyland for the whole family!
Win a computer / I-pad / state of the art music centre

Where have our values gone, now that simply filling in a form or questionnaire can put one in line to receive one of these huge gifts? What sort of world are we actually living in, if this is what one has to offer in order to entice people to buy a glossy magazine?  It very much seems like the beginning of yet another decline and fall of civilization! I do suppose it is really to try and keep in line with the fast pace of life and today’s tear away, disposable, here today and gone tomorrow type of life style. 

I prefer a slightly slower, calmer pace, at my age and if I were to enter a competition, I would be very pleased to win anything at all, as long as it was tasteful and had its uses! What do you think?


Thursday 4 August 2011

Things that go bump and Crash in the night

Things that go bump and Crash in the night
   Musings from Life by Rosemary Kahn

It was well after midnight. I know, because that is when I turned off my bedside light. Reading in bed is such a pleasure, especially in winter!

I must have been asleep for about an hour, when a loud crash woke me. I lay quietly listening in the dark for any other noises. There was a rasping and scraping sound and then silence. I did a mental check - all the downstairs doors were locked on the inside; the security gates were locked; my car was locked and in its garage. I crept out of bed. It is always quite light in my bedroom, inspite of the curtains being closed. The apartment block to the right of my building has had very bright spot lights installed and my neighbour had left his garden spotlight on as well. This lit up my own garden and I was able to see down to the gate, which was locked. There was no movement anywhere. I stood and watched for several minutes. 

Should I risk going downstairs, or should I go back to bed? Where exactly had the crash come from anyway? It had sounded very close by. Perhaps it was just a ferral cat, of which there are a number in the vicinity, on the prowl. It might have knocked over a pot plant on one of our patios. With a sigh, I decided to go back to bed. I felt safe enough upstairs and all was quite again and I refuse to live in fear. After all, we have electrically operated security gates and seven rows of electrically wired fencing all round the property. We also have a security guard cycle patrol on duty 24/7. I climbed into bed and my last conscious thought was,  
"What a way to live!"

Tuesday 26 July 2011

People Watching

As a writer, one of my favourite pass times is "people watching". So during the recent school hoildays, I took myself off to the local Mall, notebook in hand, and found a vacant bench on the ground floor, fairly near the lifts and escalators. What I saw was indeed a complete eye-opener! From babies in prams, completely covered by blankets, so that no one could see that baby and the baby could not look out; to mothers hurrying along, with children trailing behind, often in a crowd. I saw crying children; rude and cross children, whining and begging children and very few who looked as though they were actually enjoying themselves or the outing. Often the teenagers had sort of disowned their parents, which is probably to be expected! The whole scene reminded me of  a project I did with my class years ago.

Of course, during the 25 years of my teaching experience, shopping, as such and shopping projects changed with the times and no longer did we set up quaint little grocery stores in a corner of the classroom. Instead, we had real cake or cookie sales; or used real stationery, pencils, erasers, etc, or hand made crafts, or even the children's own paintings to be sold, to teach the concept of buying and selling and the value of coins.

One day, during a class discussion, a child said, "Mrs Kahn, do you know that I HATE going shopping? It is NOT a treat."

When I asked her to explain in more detail, she said this, and I have never forgotten it.

"Just think of us for a moment. We are shorter than adults, sometimes much smaller. We get bashed by other people's parcels and handbags and all we can see are legs!"

Rosemary  - July 2011.

All we will have left are memories and hopefully they cannot be changed.

9 Things That Will Disappear In Our Lifetime

Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part on how we adapt to them. But, ready or not, here they come. 

1.  The Post Office

Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills. 

The Cheque

Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with cheque by 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process cheques. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the cheque. This plays right into the death of the post office. If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of business.

The Newspaper 

The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper. They certainly don't subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services. 

The Book 

You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages. I said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience! Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you're holding a gadget instead of a book.

 The Land Line Telephone 

Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they've always had it. But you are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes


This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It's the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalogue items," meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, "Appetite for Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, "Before the Music Dies." 


Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they're playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it. It's time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix. 

 The "Things" That You Own 

Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in "the cloud." Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest "cloud services." That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider. In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That's the good news. But, will you actually own any of this "stuff" or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?" Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert. 


If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That's gone. It's been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7, "They" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and theGoogle Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits. "They" will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again.

What do you think or feel of the list above? Please share your comment on the blog below. We'd love to hear from you.

Monday 25 July 2011

Keeping your figure

"If you want to keep your figure, dear," said my Piano Tuner's mother, who lived round the corner, "don't ever stop skipping!" Well somewhere along the line I did, (stop skipping) and my figure suffered. We moved house and with all the stresses and diversions a move like that brings, my rope was never found - that is, until about a week ago!
I was searching in my children's game box which had been carefully packed away for over 30 years, (the contents of which was hopefully to be enjoyed one day by any future grandchildren I might have.) I wanted to send my grand daughter, who lives with her family in Australia, a certain game I had been telling her about. As I lifted out each box, I could clearly picture my own family, years ago, sitting round a table or on the floor, usually shrieking with laughter ( or sometimes sulking), as we played first the easier games, like "Snakes & Ladders" or "Ludo", (remember them? ), and then of course "Monopoly"; "Rich Uncle" or "WHOT"., to mention but a few.

At the very bottom of the box, when the last jig saw puzzle had been unpacked, lay my old rope, with its lovely wooden handles. Yay, yay and double yay!

Guess who is skipping her heart out every day on the lawn, in preparation for summer? MOI, and I am loving it!  

Why Unicorns Eat Lavender Receives Another Compliment

Dear Rosemary

Thank you for your book, "Why Unicorns Eat Lavender"

It is a wonderful book and my son loves it. Just yesterday he quoted it, saying he wanted to keep a secret that would keep him warm in summer and cool in winter. 

I had to correct him about the actual quote, e.g. cool in summer and warm in winter, but nonetheless, the book clearly made an impression on him.


A grateful mother
(From USA)

Saturday 23 July 2011

The Demise of Handwriting as we have known it.

When I was about 32 and teaching a class of very active 6/7 year olds, one of my pupils shouted out during a writing lesson, "Mrs Kahn, when you were young, did you write with a feather?" The rest of the class burst out laughing and so did I. It was funny, although the children could not have really known that. At that stage of their lives they had no real concept of educational progress or of the passage of time.  
I have always felt that it is vital for children to be taught to write legibly and neatly and I am most certainly not ready to give up that idea, not quite yet, anyway.
I do concede, however, that learning to type quickly and accurately is just as essential these days. So my question is, why can't children be taught both skills, perhaps in a new and imaginative way?  They serve  different purposes after all but I do I believe that learning to write is a very important  skill for the general development of the child. I do not intend to go into details here, but many studies have indicated this.

Therefore, I find it immensely dissatisfying and indeed very worrying, that in America, 41 of their States have already declared that it is no longer a requirement to teach children handwriting, although each individual school is at liberty to decide that for themselves! I would like to think that most schools will continue to do so as part of their regular curriculum, slotted in somewhere, perhaps in Arts and Crafts lessons, should those lessons still exist. When the current batch of teachers retire and new younger ones step in, I am sure the age of technology will take over completely. Perhaps then the only writing that will be required of children will be the ability to sign their names, and we all know that most signatures are entirely illegible in any case, so any old squiggle will do!  I should imagine that practically anyone can do that, without resorting to the good old "X", which would be a giant step backwards. 

What do you think?
Do send your comments!


Thursday 21 July 2011

Feedback From Tampa, Florida USA

Hello Rosemary!

I wanted to let you know that Joseph (my son) loves "Why Unicorns Eat Lavender."
We have read it every night for the past week. Seriously. He is very intrigued by the Ice Queen and the King of Fire.
It is a wonderful book.
Such a great story with elments of myth and legend. I like it very much also.


Sighting Space Shuttle Atlantis on her final voyage.

I happened to turn on the radio in time to catch the announcer reading out the exact time and place to view this exciting event, on Tuesday night, 19th July. I remembered the hype when this space shuttle was first launched, and determined to watch its final voyage and wave goodbye!

It was a clear dark night in Cape Town, not a speck of cloud about anywhere. A few stars were visible as I went outside, with my Dad's old binoculars, just after 7.00 p.m. At exactly 7.08, as announced, a bright light appeared to the west, just over the tip of Table Mountain and I was able to follow it for at least 3 minutes as it moved towards the east, trailed by another equally bright object. For some reason, I was really excited! As it disappeared from sight, I waited a few more minutes, thrilled to have witnessed this special event!

Below we include for you, video clips of:
1) The final take off of Space Shuttle Atlantis

2) A sighting of Space Shuttle Atlantis as seen from an aeroplane

3) Some thought provoking background into why this important work is coming to an end and the implications to others of this final event.

P.S.. Space Shuttle Atlantis has just touched down safely in Florida USA, (at 12 noon RSA time, 21 July 2011)  closing the chapter of 30 years of successful space travel - I think that is amazing!
Well done to all concerned!

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Favourite words

Every morning after my prayers and meditation, I choose my favourtie word for the day. That's one of the luxuries of being retired. One has a little extra time to spare! 

Yesterday I chose "rattletrap" because unfortunately, we seem to have more and more of them on our roads, here in the Western Cape.

Today's word is "dab". It is such a cute little word with quite a few meanings. As a teacher of young children, I was often fascinated by the way some of them would dab colour onto their painting paper - it is such a rhythmical word, isn't it? 

My children might remember that this is not a new pastime for me - I can remember us laughing at words like "elbow" and windowsill" ; "grouch" and "hackles"; "nub" and "moggy". Sometimes we would select our word for the day by the word that sounded the funniest, most obscure or unusual.

I wonder if there is a word for playing this game and if any of you out there also do this?

If not, why don't you start today? It's just a bit of fun to relieve the tension of our busy lives, as we rush to complete our tasks each day.


Monday 21 February 2011


This is probably one of the most important decisions your will ever have to make for your child. Their school days are vital to their development, both socially and academically. Here are a few tips to help you.

1. By the time your child reaches the age of three, it is important to start thinking about schooling because these days one has to register the child at your chosen  school early. You might even decide to choose two schools to be on the safe side.

2. Start by looking in your immediate geographical area. Consider the routes to the school and the distance from home.

3. Then make an appointment during school hours, to pay a visit to the school.  Meet with the head teacher, or someone else in a senior position. Ask to be shown round the school. Take particular note of the noise volume; the general cleanliness; state of  the toilets; the facilities offered (e.g. a well equipped library;     computer rooms; music facilities; a gym; sports fields; a swimming pool; tuck shop and what they sell there; after school care, should you need it, etc.)

4. Ask for any year books; brochures; or other literature about the school.

5. If possible, have a good look at staff members. Are they relaxed and happy, or do they look harassed?   If you come across any of the children, do they greet you politely, or do they push passed you rudely?

6. How much are the school fees, if any and where does one purchase school  uniforms? How much will one be expected to outlay for those?
7. If you are thinking about a private school as opposed to a state school, once you  have determined the cost per term, including books, stationery and extra-murals; ask yourself whether this outlay is within your financial means.  One has to bear in mind that there will always be extra costs, too, for school outings; for the     upgrade of certain facilities, and also for end of term plays, which will include costumes, and even props, to be paid for by the parents.

This is becoming quite a popular way to educate one’s child / children, providing that you have the time,     not only to teach but also for the preparation of lessons.
This can be great fun and is very satisfying for certain children. In many countries there are home-school      organizations, which can be found on the internet. It is very important to get in touch with one in your  area, as this will help in many ways, e.g sharing of ideas and materials; obtaining the curriculum; socializing; educational outings; etc

For sport, see the local school in your area. Some schools are very happy to include a home schooled      child in their extramural programme. This is great way for your child to meet other children with similar 

A final word on this subject:  Do make use of the internet. There are some excellent teachers out there, who have produced up to date and exciting teaching material for almost every subject including worksheets; projects; mathematics; creative activities, etc, much of it is free of charge, surprisingly enough! One can just down-load it.

Best wishes to you all for joyful and successful schooling.

Rosemary Kahn


Rosemary Kahn is a highly skilled and professional teacher with many years teachign experience. She is also a published authoress. If you would like a consultation via email or skype regarding the educational needs of your child, you are welcome to email her or her secretary to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday 8 February 2011

What Has Happened to our Polite Society?

  What happened to good old fashioned "Service with a Smile"?

I think the beginning of this Century will go down in History as the age of Rudeness.  

Matters seem to get worse by the day. P's and Q's hardly exist and has anyone recently received a Thank you note from any young person to whom you have sent a card or gift. There are a few exceptions, of course, but as a general rule, you are lucky if you get a one line email.

Just this week I have been ignored yet again when trying to pay for purchases at the check-out counter in my local supermarket, because the "lady" at the till happened to be having a long conversation with her friend at the next till. She could not be bothered to return my cheerful greeting, or to make eye contact with me. Not until I had said very loudly,  "Are you going to serve me, or should I call the manager?", did she deign to ring up the few items I had placed on the counter. She took my cash and handed me my change whilst starting up another conversation, this time with a packer.  I believe that this sort of behaviour is not uncommon. Many people on talk radio shows have commented on it.

Last week I had an appointment to see a doctor in a fairly large hospital. I arrived a little early, knowing I would have the usual forms to fill in as a new patient. On entering Reception, one lady behind the counter was eating a sandwich and had a mug of coffee in her hand, which she used, without a word, to point me towards the opposite counter.  The lady there was sucking a red lollipop, which she did not remove from her mouth for the entire time it took her to take my name and give me the necessary forms; to ask for my I.D. Book and Medical Aid card, which she took away to photocopy. She handed the items back to me with a "lollipop-in-mouth" smile, stick bobbing up and down and that, as the saying goes, was that.

Two weeks ago I was in a long queue at the Post Office. I counted 21 people, all waiting to be served.

There were five empty counters. One elderly lady asked whether there was a strike on, or if  their staff were off "sick"?  "No," came the reply, from the one and only person trying to get through all the customers, "They are all on tea".

"How can this be allowed? Where was the postmaster?", someone else asked.

"Gone out". Was the curt reply. And with that three of us walked out.

Have you noticed how no one returns calls these days?
How one is kept holding on for ages, only to be told that the person you need to speak to urgently, is in a meeting?
Is that all anyone does these days? Attend meetings and then NEVER return calls?

Shopping is no longer the  treat or a pleasant experience it was when I was young.  There is no one around to help you and if you should be lucky enough to find someone eventually, they are so disinterested, you almost feel sorry to have bothered them.

I could go on and on - rude drivers; inconsiderate cyclists; etc; etc. Perhaps I should end with one last piece.

On a recent trip to the Cinema, I asked for two seats near the back on the aisle.

"Sorry, I can't do that," said the young man serving me." I can give you 5 rows down."

I sighed and took the tickets, only to find, as the lights went down, that there were only 3 other patrons besides us, in the whole place! Takes the cake, doesn't it?

Rosemary Kahn


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