The maths of cake

I’ve struggled with maths and numbers all my life.  I remember extra maths during playtime – hundreds tens and units instead of running amok.  No way to sell the idea to an active child. And extra coaching.  A variety of maths teachers and a mum whose brain is a calculator.

Result = fear cubed

And maths avoidance.  Oh I passed my O levels due to a good teacher fortunately who taught bits of maths like matrices and vectors which are visual and made sense.

In this job I have a colleague who teaches by learning style.  So, this visual learner, with a passion for having my cake and very definitely eating it, has finally learned fractions.  By adding and subtracting “virtual” cake slices.  I have even bought a children’s visual maths book.  All proving that you are never too old to learn something new, and that trying to cut cake into 20 virtual pieces is a challenge!!!



Outside is a shaken snow dome of whirling flakes which drift by the window, like dandelion seeds blown by the wind. The flat roof opposite pools; the flakes don’t have a chance to settle down.  Sat at the laptop, I’m staring into white world, feeling a little frustrated by making applications for jobs, each interview a hope – life seems a little like waiting on hold to pay a bill: you are never quite sure when you will get through – so you drink coffee, read, do whatever you can – while listening on repeat.

An endless cycle.

Last year I planted daffodils, a promise of Spring, expecting tall golden yellow on green. But find I have tiny, resilient, jaunty ones, jutting their noses above the pinkish terracotta pots. At first I was disappointed, but their cheerful optimism seems good to me. I find a little optimism and cautious resilience returning too.

Not without medication though.

I’ve spent my life avoiding the stuff.  I have battled and fought, learning how to stay healthy. But I’m surprised – they seem to provide a scaffolding; like the cage of hoops and pins around a badly broken leg; much less visible thankfully. I’m grateful though I can’t see a way forward yet – just the green tips of new plants – a contract extension. A little more pay.

Just enough to make me feel less abandoned, a tiny bit more hopeful and secure.

Snow day

blogging on a phone is hard work. Today I tried to use the Library computer but it annoyingly crashed and lost the blog and also the plot. Snow days have meant the repair man and I haven’t managed to get the laptop sorted. However I do have a working boiler. Apparently its got electrical tape around a vital part until a new bit comes in. I’m just grateful it works as it chose to crash when outside was minus 5…swearing over toast while wearing your

jacket is not a good start to the day . But I did get a chance to play…making a snowman that looked more like an igloo. Crafted with chunky bits of ice and it served to rescue the poor daffodils. Walking to the canal first thing I watched black headed gulls in full summer chocolate hood plumage skating for the olympics on the frozen water. After about an hour and a half I found exe coffee roasters for toffee and winter treacle tasting cappuccino. And a croissant because they were fresh and filled the little shop with warm toasty smells. The other two customers and I left a wet trail of snowy prints along the worn board floor. I get out the habit of savouring things so it’s good to keep trying!! I’m reading Richard Templars the rules of life. It’s a book that feels like secular proverbs as much as self help. Kind of observations on the way the world operates and good values to treasure and practice. we had a sermon on bible wisdom and someone quoted a lady who read self help books on holiday because she wanted to keep learning. I’m finding it fascinating and a great way to start a dialogue with what I think from a bible background. That’s a bit clumsy and pretentious..i just like being made to think about life and how to do stuff well.