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  • Writer's pictureVivienne Boucherat


When I was thirteen years old I had pneumonia and missed not only most of

my summer holiday but an entire school term! It was the very first term of all

of my ‘O’ level courses. Amongst other things, I missed the first basic building

blocks of mathematics which put me at quite a disadvantage. I never caught

up, only achieving an acceptable grade in a different type of maths exam after

3 years of retakes!

Later in life I needed to use a lot of very specific calculations in my work as a

nurse. Having been taught specific formulas, I found these calculations easy.

However, I always thought I should have been good at maths in general

because I always loved patterns and shapes (both sonically and visually) and

was fascinated by astronomy, fractals, frequencies, the existence of the Golden

Ratio, the Fibonacci Sequence and Sacred Geometry – surely this is all maths?

The wider, bigger picture of mathematics IS beautiful and elegant – I can see

that, even though I understand so little of it.

Numbers, patterns and shapes are EVERYWHERE in our environment, in nature

and in our human-made world. Humankind has developed theories, formulae,

calculations and systems to comprehend, predict and utilise nature to aid our

very survival and to add practical and spiritual value to our lives.

As humans, it seems we need to make comparisons and connections between

everything around us in order to understand ourselves.

This line of thought gets very deep very quickly!

My initial thoughts for this blog were so simple. I was musing on some

significant numbers I am encountering this year - for example, my mum just

turned 90, I turned 60 and a niece turned 30. Chris and I celebrated 25 years of

marriage, we have been out of London for 1 year and 1 month. I just looked at

my watch and it is 13.13 hrs GMT - I love it all and don’t know why.

I have even been having dreams about sculpting huge shapes (I am not a

sculptor!) I have been drawing them on paper, building them – I can feel the

texture and temperature of the materials, gauge their scale, even hear what

they sound like when I tap them!! Isn’t that bizarre?

Awake or asleep, I think we are all capable of great leaps of understanding and

we should take notice of all these observations and subliminal messages.

Perhaps they are telling us something unrealised and important?

Back to basic maths - I know that missing out on those fundamental learning

blocks made advancement in the field impossible, but it is something I can

STILL put right! A friend has offered to teach me, and I am going to take her up

on it! Perhaps I will take an exam!

I might even make a sculpture!

Have a brilliant August. Notice everything.

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