22nd Thing: Ducks in a Row

Some people are very superstitious about numbers. Many avoid the number 13: ‘unlucky for some’ or so the triskaidekaphobic say. In China and parts of South East Asia, it’s 4 that is bad news: in fact, I lived in a flat that had been changed by its owner from 24 to 23A to expel the negative vibes of the number 4. Just as well I don’t feel that way given my local taxi company.

I can’t say I’m particularly worried about numbers bringing bad luck but I do find some numbers more pleasing than others. Palindromes are always good (except for 404 – although even that has its fans).

If you play bingo, you’ll know that numbers have names: legs eleven, dirty Gertie (30), two fat ladies (88). Somehow for me, two little ducks (22) morphed into ducks in a row, which is a favourite phrase of mine. It reminds me of ducklings in Hyde Park, in spring, doing anything but getting into line. You can never be sad thinking about ducklings: even when they’re in potential peril crossing a busy street.

So when I was buying a house, and a number 22 was available, it seemed like an good omen.

And after 2 years at number 22, and given that this is my 22nd blue task, it’s surely time to get my ducks in a row and decorate my 3D 22, which looking decidedly dogearred.

Tools / special requirements: PVA glue to give a protective seal.

Time taken: An hour plus drying time.

Things learned: The word ‘palindrome’ was coined from the Greek roots palin (again) and dromos (way, direction) by the English writer Bne Jonson, in the 17th century. The Greek phrase to describe the phenomenon is karkinikê epigrafê (crab inscription), or simply karkinoi (crabs), alluding to the movement of crabs from side to side, to suggest an inscription that may be read from either side.

Satisfaction (1-10): 9.9.

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