# 8 September 2011

Today seemed to be one of those days with lots of comings and goings, consequently this combined with the on-going problems with Dragon,meant that I did not get my blog written.

After the morning carers had left, Lynne, my occupational therapist, arrived to sort out problems I was having with my hands pressing the keys on the lap top. I had designed a new splint for the right-hand which I thought would do the trick but Lynne, thinking ‘outside of the box’ came up with the obvious solution. Why not move the articulated armrest from the right-hand to the left. Simple. It works perfectly well with the splintered finger. Why didn’t I think of that?

As Lynne was about to leave Edward Oliver turned up with my tax return or rather the tax demand. Last year the Inland Revenue had overlooked the losses I have incurred during the year and instead of me owing them money it was the reverse. I rather hoped that they had made the same mistakethis year but Edward, the bearer of bad news confirmed that the Inland Revenue’s calculation was correct and I really did owe the taxman a substantial amount of money.

The next visitor was that good man Barry, who, with his wife Denise had driven us down to Cornwall to attend Augusta’s wedding and assumed not only the role of chauffeur but also that of carer for the 3 days. It was only days later that he was in intensive care with an infection in his spine. Fortunately, after a series of operations, a very worrying period, he is now out of hospital and on the mend, s shadow of his former self, having lost 2 1/2 stone but nevertheless well on the road to recovery. This was a great relief to us as initially we suspected that his back problem had arisen from lifting me around in Cornwall, which fortunately did not prove to be the case.

I had a very nice e-mail from one of my readers today following my entry about being evacuated during the war, saying how interesting he found it and he would like more anecdotes of the same perid. These anecdotes tend to be triggered by outside events but I promised to note his request, as and when the occasion presentrd itself. I can however just mention one particular anecdote. Following on from the evacuation. I was placed in the local primary school where, after assembly, the entire school sang its way through the times tables, from 2 2′;s are 4, all the way through to 12 12’s are 144. This together, some years later at senior school with the discipline imposed by not being allowed to use logarithm tables until we had calculated our own correctly to 5 places of decimal including sines, co-sines and tangents, meant that I was always reasonably innumerate. Compare this with today’s youngsters who are weaned almost from birth to use a calculator and consequently when they get an answer they have absolutely no idea whether it is in the right magnitude of accuracy or not.

T he example of this and I gave in a previous entry was my ability to multiply to 4 figure numbers in my head, within a minute or two, with around 5% accuracy. I’m not as agile in the brain as I was but just for fun I asked Sally, one of my morning carers,to jot down two random four figure numbers before she left. and I would see if I could still do it.

The first thing to remember is that the number must be under 100 million as there are three noughts, or the equivalent on each of the four figure numbers. So, for example two 4 figure numbers each starting with 4 would give you an answer more than 16 million and less than 25 million. This is clear by 4 x 4 equals 16 and 5 x 5 equals 25.

The two numbers that Sally left were 4748 and 6599. So if we call the first number 4 3/4 and the second number 7, we can see that the answer lies a little short of 35 million.

4 3/4. x 7 =33.25 or 33,250,000 ( in your head you would say 5 x 7 = 35, less 1/4 of 7 (1 3/4,) gives you 33 1/4.or 33,250,000.

Then, to refine your answer you would deduct 1 x 4748 plus 250 x 7000 ( 6599) 1,750,000.

33,250,000 minus 1,750,000 s 31,500,000.

Finally you could deduct the 250 when you called 6599, 7000 in the last calculation, to give a final answer of 31,250,000. Well within the 5%. error as the correct answer is 31,332,052. Simple!!