Doing the maths

inside riverside theatre, waiting for Brian Cox

We went to see Brian Cox last night. It was part physics lecture, part talk show interview. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but came away with the same wonder I felt as a kid about science. I decided if I could have a do-over, I’d look past the rote classes and hormone-driven drama that diverted my attention from awesome science & maths. I’d swallow the low confidence and have a real go at the physics degree I wanted after watching Sliders. And just before that, I’d overcome my shyness and join the guys playing Magic: the Gathering in the chem lab.

But I can’t have a do-over. People can only press forward. I bought my first Magic deck eight years after leaving school. And today, I bought my first maths book that I fully intend to read over a long period at a leisurely pace. Today I learned the first recorded mathematics was in 2000 BC, by the Babylonians; what they practised, we know today as algebra. But it was the Greeks who took maths seriously enough to develop and study it. Their effort was the start of modern mathematics. Interesting, huh?

side view of my foot, with a lump just before the heel bone

I also learned, over the course of a few weeks, that if you stomp your foot hard enough on the ground, a little nipple appears on the inside, just between the ankle and the heel. In the picture above, it’s the pinky red zone, 15px left of the arrow.

It looks like an underground pimple, but feels like a mosquito bite. Tender, sometimes hurts to walk. Everything I’ve read on the internet points to the type of tendonitis that ends up in collapsed arches. Not cool/physio time.

winter tomato in august, almost the circumference of my palm

My winter tomato is doing well. It’s surrounded by plants with bare branches and half chewed leaves. I expected to find a hole in it today, but we still have one intact, glossy tomato that almost fills my palm.

I have planted a variety of kitchen scrap off-cuts in the raised veggie bed and they’re not dead yet. The plan is to see what we can get by mid-October, green manure the bed for two weeks, then move these tomatoes in over the summer. That’ll give them a good six months while we decide whether to move house – to a place with a sunnier garden.

It feels weird to be making these plans. Yeah, it’s what people do, and I’m not saying I’ve not made my share of plans. But this is different, I’m planning to – literally and metaphorically – put down roots. You know, buy a place, settle somewhere, develop a long-term strategy for some self-sufficiency. There’s nothing young, carefree and vibrant about this. I wonder if it’s a phase brought on by the 30-something nesting instinct. I think of Fight Club every time I go to IKEA.

But beh, this is what I want now, so it has to be pursued now. I still won’t get a do-over in eight years after seeing a wrinkled Brian Cox talk about the physics of growing tomatoes.

mona lying under a warm laundry pile

I’m going to bed. Let me leave you with a picture of Mona helping with the laundry.

Night. :)