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21 November 2008


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I prefer to think that I'm crap at maths because I'm crap at maths - my brain simply doesn't work that way.

And it doesn't explain why son No. 1 is brilliant at it, because he speaks no Asian language at all - although he is rather fond of Manga, Japanese food and Audrey Kawasaki.

Hmm. Maybe that helps?

Malcolm Gladwell - I can't take him seriously. Maybe it's because he's about the same age as my children, although I know this is illogical because Einstein did his most famous work in his twenties, and Newton and Darwin in their forties. Perhaps it's the tone of the Tim Adams article that sounds like something out of Hello Magazine. Most likely I'm just in a grumpy mood!

I like to think it's possible to learn from anyone, irrespective of age, as long as we keep our minds open. And I suspect I've learned more from my daughter than from almost anyone else I know, in so many different ways. As it happens, she's much better at maths than I am and even has an MBA! (But doesn't speak any Asian languages either.)

I must admit, however, I've yet to read anything like Tim Adams's article in Hello; if so, it would make sitting in the dentist's waiting room much more interesting ...

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Thought for life

  • The House of Breath, William Goyen
    We are the carriers of lives and legends - who knows the unseen frescoes on the private walls of the skull?

Thinking about . . .

  • Daniel Klein, Travels with Epicurus
    I too listen to music more and more. Throughout my life, music has stirred me more than any other art form, and now, in old age, I find myself listening to it almost every evening, usually alone, for hours at a time.
  • Julia Blackburn, Thin Paths
    I began writing because I liked to write things down. I learnt foreign languages because they seemed to enter my head by a process of osmosis.
  • Joan Bakewell, Stop the Clocks
    I live contentedly alone. It's better that way and I am often thoughtful about what has been and what might have been. There are many like me.
  • Patti Smith, M Train
    Oh to be reborn within the pages of a book.
  • Patti Smith, M Train
    Why is it that we lose the things we love, and things cavalier cling to us and will be the measure of our worth after we’re gone?
  • Judith Kerr, Observer Magazine, 22 November 2015
    I don't believe in God. I find it much easier to believe in ancestors. I like to imagine they are pointing us in the right direction.

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