Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 238



Hello Everyone



On the Rocky Bay harbour wall, stands our local pub called The Rusty Anchor lnn.


lt is run by Reg the landlord and his wife Ruby.


This establishment attracts locals and visiting holiday-makers alike and Reg lays on a variety of entertainments to draw people in.


One of the most popular entertainments he organizes is Karaoke Night – which is usually held on a Friday.  He becomes the KJ or karaoke jockey. This means he holds the microphone and introduces anyone who wants to sing.


The good folks of Rocky Bay obviously like to have a good sing-song – but l can tell you that some people have better singing voices than others. 


l don’t want to tell you who amongst them are particularly bad for fear of embarrassing them – but boy are they bad!


You might already know that karaoke is a Japanese word. 


We use this word because it was the Japanese who invented karaoke. 


Karaoke is now a world-wide phenomenon.




lt is said that karaoke was invented by a Japanese drummer called Diasuki lnoue. 


He rented this first machine out to local snack bars in Kobe City for people eating and drinking there to have a go at singing a song in front of an audience.


lt is a Japanese tradition for people to sing at parties, so this is probably why people were so ready to participate.


His machine was made from a car stereo, an amplifier and a coin machine like those you find in arcade game machines.


Maybe he didn’t see the potential of his new machine, but in any case he did not patent the idea.  So other electronics companies had the chance to make their own and made the idea very successful throughout Asia and many other countries as well.


Diasuki lnoue was awarded the lg Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. 


His invention isn’t exactly quiet though.


The walls of Japanese houses can be very thin and not very well sound-proofed, so some clever business people hit on the idea of providing a sound-proofed box that people could step into and sing out loud to their heart’s content without annoying the neighbours.


The first karaoke-box was made in 1984 out of an old freight car divided into sound-proofed rooms and was set up in a rice field by the side of a road.  Now these kinds of boxes can be found all over Japan.  You can hire a room by the hour or half hour.


And business people in Japan can also pop into a karaoke bar after work.  Singing out loud is a very good way to unwind after a hard day at work. 


lt is a good stress-buster!


Karappo means empty and okesutura means orchestra.  The two words abbreviated have created karaoke.   


ln karaoke, anyone can get up on the stage and sing into a microphone to recorded background music as though they were a pop star.


You need special music to play – it has instruments but no voices so that the people on stage can add their own rendition. 


The performances in the Rusty Anchor really vary in quality, as l have aready mentioned.


ln the early days of karaoke, this was in the 1970s, the machines were made as a gimmick for bars and hotels.  They used music cassettes. 


But they really took off in the 1980s as a main attraction in any social gathering. 


By this time the machines were using Laser Disc technology – these discs looked like large DVDs.  And at the same time, a singer could see the lyrics (words) to a song on a screen.  This made it much easier for anyone to sing along of course, because as long as you were familiar with the song you could sing it without having to memorize all the words.


Then in the 1990s, communication karaoke was invented.  This meant that a singer could request a particular song and it could be downloaded via the lnternet from a company located in another place. 


The company would provide the song by sending it to the karaoke machine in the bar or party – or any other venue.


This gave the karaoke machine a much larger range of songs to offer.


With all of these early systems, people would sing in front of an audience that were mostly strangers.


Later, karaoke boxes became available for families to use at private parties and now you can get karaoke in cars and taxis and there are solo karaoke boxes and downloads on mobile phones, which allows you to sing to yourself in the privacy of your own home – alone.


l really think some of the customers in the Rusty Anchor could do with some practice at home alone!


The word for this in Japanese is wankara.


ln fact, l think l might get a solo box.  After all when you live in a lighthouse no one can ever complain about your bad singing, no matter how loud it gets!



Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!


lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.


Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam





Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bob: Did you hear about the silly Karaoke singer? 


Bill: No?


Bob: They were so slow they couldn’t even catch their breath!



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

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Picture Gallery


Karaoke booths


A music cassette







This week Emily went round to see Auntie Alice and tell her about how well her plants are doing.

You will remember that Auntie Alice gave Emily some little house plants to root in water so that she could have some plants in her bedroom.

During the week, Auntie Alice found another plant she thought Emily might like to have as well.

She decided that she would start some new baby plants off herself and then she could give one to Emily later.

Making baby plants like this is called propagation.

Emily was thrilled because the plant Auntie Alice was trying to propagate had really pretty leaves. 

They were green and pink!

Auntie Alice explained that the plant was called Begonia Rex.

She showed Emily how she was going to do it.  Unusually, you can actually make new plants from just parts of a leaf.  One leaf could produce many new plants.

She told Emily that you need to use a full, healthy leaf and cut it off at the base.  Then remove the stalk and lay it down flat on a board that you can cut on.

Next, cut the leaf across into strips using a sharp knife and then each strip downwards so that you end up with sections of leaf that are the same size as a postage stamp.

Little plants should grow from the ends of the cut veins in the leaf – isn’t nature amazing!

Auntie Alice put the squares of leaf on top of a seed tray full of potting compost and then put a plastic bag over the seed tray to keep in humidity.

The new plants will be ready to transplant into their own pots in a few months time when they are about 10cm tall.

Auntie Alice will keep an eye on them until they are big enough to transplant and then Emily can take one home – but Emily will go round to Auntie Alice’s cottage quite often to check on their progress.


Begonia Rex



This year Bill, Bob, Henry and Emily had a very special, little girl called Sally join their class.

Miss Pringle wanted to talk to the children in her class about Sally before she came so that they would understand exactly why she was special.

Sally was partially deaf.  Because she was not profoundly (very) deaf, she wanted to come to an ordinary school and join in classes and games with ordinary children.

Sally could do something called lip reading.

This is when people who have some amount of deafness watch people’s mouths when they talk and can understand what they are saying by the shape of their lips.

This is very clever.

When Miss Pringle or anyone else in the class wanted to talk to Sally they would have to face her so that she could see their lips.  This would help her a lot.

If anyone wanted to talk to Sally and she wasn’t facing them, they should very gently and in a friendly way tap her on the shoulder so that she would pay them attention.

If there was ever an emergency, like the building needed to be evacuated, everyone should make sure that Sally was with the rest of the class when they went into the playground.

Miss Pringle said that it was very important for everyone to remember that just because someone could not see or hear or walk like other people, they were no less intelligent.  

This is true of children and grown-ups.

When Sally joined the class, all the other children knew what to expect, which helped Sally settle in.

Henry remembered when he was new to the class and how the other children had helped him.

In no time at all, Sally was teaching the other children sign language.   This is how deaf people speak with their hands.  The children were learning a new language!

Their favourite word so far is lawnmower because it looks like you are pushing an imaginary lawnmower in mid air!










Quick Quiz


What do the following words and phrases mean?


  1. A sing-song
  2. Going solo
  3. lt’s not over until the fat lady sings
  4. Don’t put words into my mouth
  5. Born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth
  6. To live from hand to mouth
  7. To find out about something through word of mouth






lt’s the Weekend!




Down by the river that runs through the Rocky Bay Woods you will, if you are really lucky, catch a glimpse of one of the water nymphs that live on the banks there.

And if you are really, really lucky, you will hear their voice singing along side the rushing and gurgling sounds of the water.

If you look at the photograph, you will see what they look like.




Using 4mm knitting needles and blue dk yarn cast on 20 stitches

Knit 14 rows of stocking stitch


Change to white dk yarn

Knit 8 rows of stocking stitch

Don’t cast off – cut off yarn leaving a length for sewing up and thread this length through the stitches on your needle



Using 4mm knitting needles and blue dk yarn cast on 10 stitches

Knit 14 rows of stocking stitch


Don’t cast off – cut off yarn leaving a length for sewing up and thread this length through the stitches on your needle



Using 4mm knitting needles and blue dk yarn cast on 8 stitches

Knit 4 rows of stocking stitch


Change to white dk yarn

Knit 2 rows of stocking stitch

Don’t cast off – cut off yarn leaving a length for sewing up and thread this length through the stitches on your needle



Using 4mm knitting needles and blue dk yarn cast on 16 stitches

Knit 1 row

Knit 1 row

Knit 1 row

Purl 1 row

Continue knitting in stocking stitch decreasing 1 stitch at the beginning of every row until 1 stitch remains

Cast off

Sew up the back seam with wrong sides together otherwise you will not be able to turn it out the right way very easily



  1. Use over-sew stitching to put the pieces together
  2. Sew up the underarm seams of the arms with wrong sides together
  3. Turn the arms right sides out tucking the ends of the yarn inside after securing the ends of the yarn after knitting
  4. Sew up the back seam of the head and body using the appropriate colours
  5. Take a length of yarn to the outside of the nymph at the back of the neck
  6. Turn right sides out
  7. Sew up the tops of the arms to the sides of the body just under the white section from the back
  8. Stuff the head and body
  9. Sew up the bottom edge of the body with right sides together
  10. Sew up the back seams of the legs right sides together
  11. Take some yarn to the outside of the nymph at the back of the ankles
  12. Turn the legs the right way out and stuff
  13. Sew the top of the legs to the bottom of the body from the back using over-sew stitching
  14. Bind up the neck, waist and ankles and secure the yarn tightly
  15. Neaten all ends of yarn
  16. Embroider a face onto the nymph using a knitter’s needle going in from the back of the neck (or you can do it before constructing the nymph if you prefer)
  17. Sew the hat up with wrong sides together
  18. (And sew onto the head at the back of the hat – only if you want to)



Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand



Quick Quiz Answers


  1. A sing-song – a group of people getting together to sing some songs
  2. Going solo – doing something alone
  3. lt’s not over until the fat lady sings – the final outcome cannot be known until a situation is completed
  4. Don’t put words into my mouth – don’t assume you know what l am going to say
  5. Born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth – born into a wealthy family
  6. To live from hand to mouth – to be struggling with money/poor
  7. To find out about something through word of mouth – information being spread around by people telling each other the information




For an Embroidery Stitches Chart

Check out Blog Post 3

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