Saturday, May 26, 2012


Mother falls ill. Peter fetches Dr Forrest. The doctor gives the children a list of food that their mother needs. Mother says they have no money to buy the things on the list. The children write a message on a white sheet for the old gentleman on the 9.15 train. It tells him to look out for something at the station. Phyllis gives the old gentleman a letter. The letter explains what happened to the children’s mother and asks the old gentleman for help to get the things on the doctor’s list. That evening, Perks delivers a large box to the children’s house. Inside the box are all the things in the list plus some extra things and a letter from the old gentleman.

 One day, the children took a walk along the top of the hill beside the railway line. Suddenly, they heard a noise and saw half the hillside crashed down onto the railway line below. The children realised that the 11.29 a.m train was in danger. They used the girls’ red petticoat to make six flags to warn the train.  The train came down the track too fast. Bobbie was afraid that it would not see them. She ran onto the line waving two flags. The train stopped just twenty metres away from Bobbie.

The children asked to have the cakes on Thursday. They wanted to make a birthday tea for Perks. Peter wanted to ask everybody in the village to help them give Perks a nice birthday. Not everyone was kind. Old Mrs Ransome said no one remembered her birthday so she did not want to help but many gave them all kinds of things to Perks. The next day, Bobbie and Phyllis gave Mrs. Ransome roses and a handkerchief for her birthday. On Thursday, the children went around to collect presents the people had promised. At three o’clock, the children took the presents and the pram to Perks’ house. When Perks came home and saw the pram and the presents, he was angry. He thought people would laugh at him for being poor and needing their things. Bobbie explained that the people wanted to give him the presents because they liked him. Perks calmed down. He was glad that his neighbours thought so kindly of him. The children stayed for tea.

There are a few more important events, identify them.
NOTE: You must remember the important events in the novel. This is because you need to support your answer with examples and the examples are the events. For example, the question on the character you like best. If you choose Bobbie as the character you like best because she is brave, to support your reason you need to give evidence ( or event in the novel ). The evidence in the novel can be "when she and her siblings saved the train".



Roberta ( Bobbie), Peter and Phyllis lived in London with their loving parents. They were happy and contented. One day, two strangers came to their house and took their father away. After this sudden event, the children and their mother moved to a small house in the country. There was a railway line near their new house. The children became friends with the people who worked at the railway. They enjoyed waving to the passengers on the 9.15am train. An old gentleman who travelled on the train always waved back at them. This gentleman became their friend. The children had several adventures with the railway. They stopped the train when a landslide covered the tracks. They also saved a boy who was hurt in the train tunnel. The children often thought of their father . Then Roberta ( Bobbie ) found out why their father was taken away. She wrote to the old gentleman for help. With his help, their father finally returned to the family.

Character : Roberta @ Bobbie

·         Responsible
Evidence:  She takes charge and gets her siblings to think of a way to get their mother the things the doctor said she must have when she is ill.
Evidence:  She runs onto the railway track to stop the train when a landslide covers the railway line.
      Evidence: She is determined to get help so that she can help her father who is in  jail. She tells the old gentleman about him and with the gentleman’s help, her father finally returns to the family.

1   1.  The importance of family love
·         Bobbie and her siblings have loving parents. After their father is taken away, Mother is very sad but she does not tell the children and the children do not ask questions so that their mother will not be upset.
·         The children always work together to solve problems, for example when their mother is ill and needs special food and when they have to save the train.

2     2. Facing life’s challenges with courage
·         The children and their mother face problems bravely. Mother does not show how sad she is and works hard to provide for the children.
·         When a landslide covers the railway tracks, the children act with courage to save the train from a terrible accident.

     Moral Values
     We learn about:
     1.     Family love and loyalty
          The children show their love for their mother by not asking questions about their father. They are loyal to their father and never forget him.
     2.     Kindness and compassion
          The station master lets Peter go when he learns that the family is too poor to buy coal.

     3.     Bravery
          The children are brave to confess that they have taken the coal and they also tell their mother       that they asked a stranger to get the things the doctor asked them to get for her.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I hate this feeling........

This feeling comes again....and I despise it. I dislike myself  when it comes but I have no other choice as it comes so sudden and uninvited. I tried very hard to fight it but to no avail...I failed and the feeling is here to stay and this time its stay is a little longer....It's a torture, mentally and emotionally. Am I too weak to fight it? Sometimes I feel like letting the feeling conquering me. Fine, lets see, let me not fight it this time and see how far it will take me? Another side of me actually is frightened...I dare not see the consequences or the end road it will take me....I dare not. I have to keep on fighting it, for my sake and for others' sake. Okay then, let  me fight and eradicate this horrible feeling and thought  ( it's not easy....someone please help me!!!)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Being the first....

     A friend recently told me that her son was disappointed as he did not get number one in class in his exam. He came second and it hurt him badly. This boy is only 9 years old and my friend, being a concerned mother, did everything she could to help her son overcome the feeling; heart to heart talk, motivational session etc.
     Last week, I had an invitation as a judge for a district event and there, I met some friends. As usual this kind of event is where we have the chance to have a long chat or sharing session. A friend told me her experience in   a recent district event which took place 3 weeks earlier. A participating team was not satisfied as the school did not win but came second. My friend who was the chief judge was approached by a few students demanding for reasons why they were second and not first. The story went on......
     These two anecdotes are based on one main thing.......wanting to be the first. In my growing up years, I was surrounded by people wanting to be first in every thing they did. Until now, I still hear stories and experiences about wanting and obsessing to be the first. Sometimes I wonder , isn't there anything else beside being the first,   why some people are too obsessed eyeing for being the first and is it the only thing that makes them happy and contented with life?
     I have many friends  who were  first in class, exams, sports, competitions during school days and the first rank officers at work . Being the first is not the only thing that makes them happy, there are many other things and values in life which are more important and should be appreciated. You could be the first in class but is it a promise or an assurance that you would be an excellent person later in your life? You could be the champion in a competition but is it your only goal in participating in the competition? How about other people or students who know they are not the likely winners but they still take part and compete? What is their purpose in taking part to compete should they know they could not win? For those who have been winners or the number one most of the times, they should be thankful and it is alright if they come second or third sometimes. This is because being the second or third  does not mean that you lose totally. Look at the other side of the coin, the thing you learn from being second or third, such as although you think you are good and have done your best, there are still things you overlook or weaknesses which you do not see or realise. Move on and mend your weaknesses or errors by looking at or sampling other people's strengths. You are just human beings like other people who are not perfect and cannot be the best in everything all the times. 
     As I mentioned earlier, being the second or third does not mean you lose. Sometimes it is better to be the second than the first. For example, a friend told me one day that she found out she was not her husband's first love and this made her upset and miserable. She felt rejected and frustrated. She treated life as if it was meaningless and felt that her husband did not give all his love to her as she was the second not the first woman her husband met and loved. I told her that she was lucky. She was shocked upon hearing my words.  I asked her to choose; to be the first love of her husband but not be able to marry him and share her life with him or be the second love but being married to him and share all his joys and sorrows? She should be grateful because she is the one her husband chose and married to not his first love. She looked at me and paused. She thanked me continuously and when I met her again a few weeks ago, she was happier. Now, she appreciates and loves her husband more than before.
     You see, we cannot have the best of everything in life. The most important is, make the best of what we have.