Saturday, 3 March 2012

Odd Numbers, Crackpots And Wrong Feet

Or ... ever so slightly obsessive

I hate odd numbers. This is a problem I've had for as long as I can remember ... I am not alone, I know one or two other odd number haters.

It actually affects every day things, minor little details I know, but they're so annoying. The most common one - and most frequent - is the volume on the telly ... it has to be an even number, it doesn't matter if I can't hear it or it's blasting my eardrums, it will never be left at an odd number.

I constantly count things, going up or downstairs is one example, of course that's always an odd number. In days of yore, I'd jump a step down or stride a step up to make it even. Now that I'm advancing in years I just make sure both feet hit one step. If I didn't do it, I'd have to go back down/up and do it again before doing whatever I went for.

Then there's cracks in pavements or just the lines between the slabs. As a child we'd play a game that if you stood on one or the other, you were a line post or a crackpot. Alas, I didn't leave this behind. At home it's fairly okay as the pavements are tarmacked, but walking at Skeggy is a nightmare, it's slabbed and cracked. I have to watch every step - as well as counting them - if I do stand on a line or a crack with one foot then I have to do it with the other, with the crack in exactly the same position under my foot. If I misjudge it, I could spend half an hour stepping on cracks until both feet are even.

Knitting is off the list of things I can do comfortably as I need to push the point of the needle with a finger on one hand so then have to do it with the other - even though I'm achieving nothing - just to even things up [this is not for the action but the feel on my fingertip], so I give in. Fortunately all my other hobbies and more importantly WORK are not affected even though both hands do entirely different things.

I am ambidextrous; I don't know whether this is natural or forced by a need to be able to do the same things with both hands. It is useful only for ironing and painting - both my sisters are left-handed. I can write backwards with both hands, or backwards with the left and forwards with the right, at the same time.

Numbers ... ah yes, as I said odd numbers are awful, imagine being born in November 1959. So what did I do to overcome this problem? Yes, I made 11 okay as it was double the same odd number making it even, and I'm afraid that - to me - 1958 and 1960 were odd years, seeing as 1959 had to be even. And there's my age, you'll never, ever hear me admitting that I'm an uneven age, I was 44 for four years [a delicious number], 48 for two years, you get the picture. And later this year, woe of woes I'm going to be - as well as odd - a prime number ... again, or would be if I admitted to it.

Phone numbers ... If I've bought a sim card and the odd numbers have outnumbered the evens, I've thrown it away and ordered another, luckily this hasn't happened often but the first thing I do is count them ... odds on my left hand, evens on the right. Fortunately - in my world - zero is even.

As a very small person I'd been learning about left and right, this was when I was either two - or the number straight after. One day we were at the park, my parents were playing tennis and I was wandering around - looking for beetles and stuff presumably - and I noticed my shoes. They were white t-bar shoes with little cut-outs over the toes; they were my favourites.

But oh dear, they were scuffed, one much worse than the other ... the right one, but this couldn't be right because it was wrong so it had to be left. At the time I couldn't differentiate between left and right and right and wrong. I had to make it right. First I walked with my legs crossed, making them left/wrong and right/right. I fell over. So then I swapped the shoes over and wore them on the wrong feet, uncomfortable but preferable.

I designed our kitchen a few years back ... this was a bad idea, it looks lovely because it's as symmetrical as I could get it, but highly impractical ... although I really wouldn't cope with it any other way. I also tiled it, we bought lots of different colours back from B&Q, I spread them out on the floor in a random order. I couldn't stand it. I couldn't possibly have two tiles the same colour touching unless there was a pattern. So that's what I've got. We kept three colours and swapped the rest.

Ahem, ironing. I count all the items before I start, if it's an odd number I'll get a hanky - or three - from the already ironed pile. Twelve is my favourite starting point as it's very divisible. I count in fractions until I've completed the job - ie 1/12, 1/6, 1/4, 1/3 ... nasty one coming up 5/12, 1/2 ... ugh, another one 7/12, 2/3, 3/4, 5/6 ... I can just cope with next one because the job is nearly done 11/12.

I could go on and on about ornaments, plants, coat-hangers, measurements and an overwhelming urge to confess to the minutest misdemeanour, but it'd take days - probably six or maybe eight. Weird aren't I? ...


  1. O dear so sad, you need to get out more instead of listening to HH, squeaky gates or Asda trucks (there's a 3 (argh)looking at 1 (argh) security light, watching a gang of 7 (argh)kids on Bridge street. Even your cats have 9 (argh)lives and there's only 1 (argh) GG ;o)

  2. Shut up with your odd numbers, they're making my eyes itch. You want to try being me for a day, it's damned annoying ;)

  3. Copyright content!
    Hi-light and copy -
    Can't. :(
    Wot wos it I wanted to crib - have to go back up page and look...
    ...........Page gone!...
    ..I'm now on comment form..
    Oh bother!
    Oh yes,...(with two windows open at once) .."both hands do entirely different things".

    I was only going to enquire if you are one of those rare and talented people, who can - pat the top of your head with one hand, and rub your tummy anti-clockwise with the other?
    Just askin'? :)

    1. Righto Bernard, I've removed the copyright content thingy. I'd never intended to leave it on, I was just experimenting to see how a fellow blogger did it and as usual I went off at a tangent, totally forgetting to remove it.

      I've also gone back to my old way of embedding the comment form below the post. Just as long as you don't mind the comment being, ahem (argh, as Dayvee would say) 9 hours early.

      And you must know I can pat and rub clockwise and anti-clockwise, with either hand in either position (head/tummy patting or rubbing).

      I thought everyone could do this :)

    2. Oh, it's 8 hours difference, I wonder if they've gone summertime, I'm sure it was (argh) 9 hours.


Be nice, I'm very sensitive.