Yesterday we were honoured with a visit from five young people who descended on us at the appointed hour of 7pm, devoured pitta bread and humous, followed by Sue’s delicious home-made pizza before a proper pudding of chocolate sponge pudding and custard, washed down with copious quantities of diet Coke.

Three of  these visitors were my three sons, now aged in their almost mid-twenties. early twenties and very late teens respectively, accompanied by the partners (well actually the wife of no 1 son and partner of no 2 son). No 3 son is still visiting the well-stocked lending library before actually buying a book, or so it seems.

There are a couple of other factors that seem to be relevent to these thoughts:

  • My sons were all born during my first marriage.
  • They all lived or still live with their mother
  • Sue and I have no other children
  • I can predict when we will be visited by them

This last statement is the result of many years of careful observation of the pattern of such visits and this observation has led me to another great scientific breakthrough.

This breakthrough has eluded scientists since the dawn of time, yet I proudly the formula that I have devised to make such predictions with unerring accuracy. This is the formula in the title of this post.

  • V is the number of visits that we can expect from sons in a year.
  • S is the number of sons
  • P is the number of wives / partners that these sons have. Normally this number will not exceed S (or there could be real trouble!)
  • B is how close their birthdays are to each other. If two or more birthdays are close together, there is no need for a separate visit, so can be deducted from the total V
  • The odd 1 to be added at the end of the calculation is for Christmas. I suggest that in non-Christian cultures, the extra visit would be timed to coincide with the major festival of the year.

So, puting the values of S, P and B into the formula for our own situation, you will see that in a typical year, Sue and I can expect:

  • S=3
  • P=2
  • B=2

              V= 3+2-2+1

               So V=4

Yes, we can expect to see them 4 times in a typical year. However, there are additional factors that could make any given year non-typical.

For example, this year has been a little different because No.1 son and No.1 partner got married. This led to a significant variation in the formula where a correction factor M had to be applied where M  is a fairly large number.

By applying a little scientific deduction, I expect that the application of the additional correction factor G will also result in an increased number of visits.

Can you work out what G stands for? 

I’ll give you the answer tomorrow

Ride Safe


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