Tag Archives: chess

Between Heaven & Hell…Friday Fictioneers.

Fred had never seen a chess set made of cheese before, and couldn’t resist chomping into the rook breaking at least two teeth and his pride.
“Oh, Fred!” gushed his wife. “I leave you for a minute, and more trouble. That’s going to be another couple of crowns. I’ll call the dentist.”
Yesterday, he’d overheard her talking about a babysitter, even sending him to a home. Darn this blasted whatsy-me-call-it! He was gunna shoot it.
Mary gave him another orange juice. The blur only deteriorated, and he no longer cared what it was called. Just as long as it hurried up.


This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields. PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold

Best wishes,


Teachers Beware: Maths Geek Alert!

Much to my relief, it turned out that it wasn’t me who had to watch out for our son armed with Adam Spencer’s: Big Book of Numbers.

It was his teachers.

Nothing gives a kid more joy than finding out something, anything their teacher doesn’t know… no matter how remote, obscure or incredibly difficult it might be!!

Mister with Adam Spencer

Mister with Adam Spencer

After all, teachers know everything and unlike the rest of us mere mortals, they even have eyes in the back of their heads. (My son’s Kindergarten teacher truly had him convinced!)

Anyway, in a scene reminiscent of a scene snatched straight out of an Andy Griffith’s book (see notes), my son lifted an equation from the Big Book of Numbers and approached his teacher.

Maths Geek let loose in the classroom in the days before whiteboards.

Maths Geek let loose in the classroom in the days before whiteboards.

Unfortunately for her, her didn’t ask her about how you cut a pizza in 29 pieces with only 7 cuts.

He’d used that one up on Adam’s visit at the school (see previous post: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/the-journey-of-a-thousand-books-sets-sail/).

Instead, referring to Sierpinski numbers, he asked her: 78,557 x 2 11 + 1=?

When she, not unsurprisingly, didn’t know that off the top of her head, he asked another teacher.

He didn’t know either.

Guess who loves maths?!!

Guess who loves maths?!!

Boy was he excited! That was almost better than winning Lotto!

By the way, in case you like to know the answers to such equations, the answer is in the book: 160,884,731. By the way, Spencer also let’s you know that this is also 12,275,749 x 13.

I feel like sending his teachers a sympathy (or is that an empathy) card.

Meanwhile, his friend challenged him to work out 2 to the power of 50 and he was beavering away at that challenge in an exercise book when I ran into him at lunchtime at school.

I can’t tell you how relieved I am that the school is bearing the brunt of this Book of Numbers juggernaut.

After all, I am still struggling to master 10 digit arithmetic!


That said, I have gone a few rounds of chess with him this week. He is finding playing against Mummy quite a “different” experience. His father has taught him a few strategic manoeuvres, which we’ve both half-forgotten. So, what with me being more creative than logical, our chess games, you could say, get a bit off track. It’s a case of Rafferty’s Rules with “chase the horse”, “waltzing with the king” and a full theatrical performance. After long grueling matches, we’ve even had a stalemate, when we each were somehow left with just our kings. However, usually these long extended clashes eventually wind up with the king cornered and then I guess it’s “off with his head”.

So for my next conundrum, why haven’t either of my kids approached me with question related to the thesaurus?

Probably because I’d be on my own turf there and actually know what I am doing!

xx Rowena

Andy Griffiths & I photographed at the Sydney Writer's Festival in 2012. I did an amazing writer's workshop with him.

Andy Griffiths & I photographed at the Sydney Writer’s Festival in 2012. I did an amazing writer’s workshop with him.


Andy Griffiths is one of Australia’s most popular children’s authors. Andy is best known for The Treehouse series, the JUST! books and The Day My Bum Went Psycho. Over the last 20 years Andy’s books have been New York Times bestsellers, adapted for the stage and television and won more than 50 Australian children’s choice awards. Andy, a passionate advocate for literacy, is an ambassador for The Indigenous Literacy Foundation and The Pyjama Foundation.http://www.treehousebookseries.com/modal/author/