Further Maths Is Sound

My sister isn’t a fan of having her photo taken so instead you’re going to get a picture of her lapel.photo.jpg
Honestly her lapel is the whole reason behind this blog post, or more accurately, the little silver badge that you can just make out on this exemplary example of my photographical skills. For those of you who did not know, that is the symbol for pi: 3.141………….

If you don’t know it then I am definitely not the best person to explain it to you. But anyway, my sister has it on a badge on her lapel because she decided that Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry were an appropriate choice of subjects for her A Levels. She’s your basic clever clogs who finds numbers incredibly interesting and amusing. So much so that she took Further Maths and bought the lapel pin that are offered to those taking the subject at her school.

She also likes baking.


Do you start to see what I mean when I say she likes numbers?

What I actually wanted to talk to you about is how two people brought up in the same household can be vastly different people.

My sister and I are about as different as they come, the biggest difference being out key strengths. Joanna’s strengths lie in analytical studies, she excels in maths and math based subjects. Her dream is to go off and work as an Engineer for Formula One some day. As anyone who reads my blog will know I prefer history and writing. Joanna is happy enough to get her hands greased up and under the hood while I quite like my occupation to require somewhat less muck.

Often we say things which go straight over the other’s head. She talks maths and I blink back, attempting to look like even a single syllable had made some sense. I talk history and she stares at me confounded as to how I can manage to get so worked up over people dead five hundred years. Our interests are hugely varied.

I think I prefer it that way though.

With someone who loves subjects well out of your comfort zone you have someone who is always going to be throwing about ideas and theories you have never heard of. Her strengths line up with my weaknesses and the seemingly randomness of her areas of expertise spark off some fantastic streams of creativity in me. I take great joy in pinching her photos from Facebook to back up something I’m writing because I never remember to take a camera and her photos are always better.

We often pick friends who share our interests, the same with those we enter into romance with, with Joanna there was no choice. Mum brought her home one day and a week later refused to return her to the hospital upon my request. Joanna was there to say no matter if I wanted her there on not and therefore I had to accept her. Even if she was the most annoying person in this universe seeing as she knew all of the buttons to press to infuriate me beyond belief.

However, my point comes down to this. My sister and I are very different but that probably makes us better in long run. We force random facts on each other, end up down very strange diluted tangents from which we’re a little unsure how to return to original lines of conversation. We challenge each other to think about areas that are not out forte. Though I will admit maths will always be jibber jabber to me. I cannot make sense of most of it and sometimes I’m not even sure she does.

So if you’re reading this, go and find someone who’s favourite topic is completely different from your own. Get them to talk to you about it and see where the conversation leads you. Tonight I got at least three more blog post topics on top of this one out of a ten minute conversation that ended in us slowly shifting away from each other and towards the things we were actually meant to be doing.

Go forth intellectual explorers! You too might learn to beware the beans.


  1. there comes a point when maths has to return to words of philosophy whilst in poetic metre and music there is maths- you are two sides of the same coin and your writing is so well engineered


  2. My 3 siblings and I all have different talents/interests, too.

    My career was in accounting & finance and I can’t add numbers in my head. Plus I’m trying to let those well-squelched artists inside me out to flex their muscles. I think everyone has an artistic side -some just deeply buried. But do creative thinkers/expressionists have a deeply buried math/science side?

    I do appreciate your open-minded view of what you and your sister offer each other BECAUSE of your differences. Intellectual exploration sounds quite stimulating.


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