The significance of numbers

Numbers can be significant markers along the journey of life. Think about it; we celebrate birthdays such as the sixteenth because it means the progression into adulthood. But why sixteen? It could be that it is the legal voting age and so reaching that milestone is worthy of celebration. Another number that is often used as a marker is eighteen. But it pales in comparison to twenty one. Perhaps part of the fascination with that particular number is that it holds a particular association with luck. In the game blackjack, one of the ways you win is if your cards total up to twenty one. Twenty one is the age associated with maturity and adulthood, with growing responsibilities. Reaching that age implies reaching a particular stage in life.

As one progresses further along the journey of life, we tend to mark our progression by decades. We reach our thirties and then our forties. Perhaps the most significant marker after that is our fifties. After all, it is at that particular stage in life that we can move on part of the way to the next rung.


The age of fifty is not so much thought of as five decades, but as reaching the midpoint of a venerable century. A person turning fifty is seen as having attained a wealth of experience and has attained some stature, so his our her opinion on matters holds more weight than someone who has turned twenty one.

We can extend the attachments to number significance beyond humans to objects too. A company that has been in existence for forty years is more reputable – or viewed that way anyway – as one that is recent.

The London Underground’s Victoria Line turns fifty this month and its achievement in ferrying millions of passengers in that time is commendable. At the same time, it has opened up employment opportunities to millions. You can live in Brixton while working in Walthamstow. You can enjoy different work and recreational opportunities.

One of the recreational opportunities you can enjoy around Finsbury Park is the gift of music. If you are ever looking to learn a musical instrument like the piano, a good starting point is the pianoworks website, where you can find out about piano lessons in N8 and N4. It’s only a short hop away from the Victoria Line, but you needn’t worry about travel – the piano teacher comes to you! Now that is a 100% winner!

What do you want for your children to attain by the particular milestones?

Don’t work out what to do; just work!

When you are sat down at a lunch or dinner with someone that you don’t see very often, what do you talk about? You may find that invariably conversations stray to the subject of work, the kind of issues people face, relationships with colleagues, and in this day and age, probably funding cuts and how they affect jobs. And why should people not talk about work? After all it is the thing that most people spend their waking hours on. When you wake up in the morning you are primed for work, the travel in, the journey on crowded train rides et cetera. Some people even commute two hours to work from the outskirts of the capital, taking advantage of cheaper housing in suburbs and the higher salaries in the city. And that is two hours each way. Take a eight or nine hour job, tack on four hours of commute, eight hours of sleep (or less) and you can see how much of a percentage work takes up in our daily lives.

But what if you are out of work? Even those who are unemployed – not in education or employment or training, known as NEETS to the government, social conversations can be about work. The only difference is that conversations centre around the lack of work rather than the quality of work. And conversations are likely to take place in the virtual world rather than in the real world.

But what can you do if you find yourself in the latter situation? The thing to do is to make yourself go out and still meet people. Find opportunities to volunteer at charity shops. Because it is important to still keep maintaining that drive to get yourself out of bed, to keep up the routine of getting prepared for employment, even if volunteering is not paid, so that when a paid opportunity develops – maybe you get offered a job somehow – that you don’t get lulled into being “not bovvered” about it because the thought of getting out of bed and ready in the morning is too much.

As a Harringay Ladder piano teacher tells us, practice and getting into a routine makes a difference. Don’t think about doing something; just do it! That is a good skill to impart to children; to spend less time considering job decisions before applying for work, and to actually do the pondering after you are in the job!