Is it just m e I ask myself. I am not short of brains - although as I approach ninety I do sometimes wonder whether it is thinning out a bit. I have degrees and diplomas in various things and I held down and enjoyed doing quite important jobs. This is not boasting it is getting round to telling you that there was a huge hole in my education.
Now I am ready to accept that all of us go down a particular road. We develop an aptitude in a particular direction and usually follow it through. My aptitudes all involved the English language, its development into literature, poetry, expressionism. I taught along these lines and teaching English Language as a second language to children coming to this country from abroad. All well and good.
Now let's think for a moment about other subjects. I loved history and geography and keep my world atlas by my chair so th at I can look things up - if I hear something about a country and am not sure where it is I look it up.
But you will notice that one subject is glaringly obviously missing. MATHS. Yes, at Junior school I usually came top in the twenty mental arithmetic questions we had to do every morning. I could recite my times tables up to and including my thirteen times table. I knew my number bonds - didn't have to use my fingers to add them up. But that;s not maths to me - that is SUMS.
In my first marriage I always the did household books and organised the paying of the bills etc. In my second marriage I took over the financial running of the farm (always done before by my husband's niece who was an accountant) but steer me away from what I still think of as numbers and I am still like a fish gasping out of water.
Now retired long ago and pretty immobile I do all the Times Mind Games every day. Early in the morning is best, before the old brain tires-My favourites are not the word ones - the crosswords, the codewords and the like. No my favourites by far are the number games. And I am ashamed to say that the Sudoku - which come in the form of Gentle, Moderate, Difficult and Killer stumped me at first. Now I can always do the Gentle, almost always do the Moderate, occasionally do the Difficult and haven't dared try the Killer yet. And why? Well I think it is because I have suddenly realised just how very vital Logic is in Mathematics. What wont go in the space is usually more easy to figure out than what will go in the space. Every mathematical problem needs looking at from various angles to be able to solve it.
I honestly don't ever remember being told that at school . My beloved Chambers (I am on my fourth as the other three have fallen apart over the years - this one should last me - defines logic as - 'the science and art of reasoning correctly. logical elements which perform specified arithmtical functions (and another dozen lines my eyes are too tired to read at this time of day). It has taken 86 years to realise that there are more ways of killing a cat as they say than by choking it with cream.