Sunday, March 13, 2011


So, I was down the stables last night teaching the nine year olds how to tack up, and lamenting to Omar, my colleague, that the schools have been closed again because of the civil unrest. He asks me: "What age are you?"
"I'm not telling you that!"
So he asks a child instead. She tells him: "I'm 9."
"What year were you born?"
"2002 + 9 = 2011"
Omar is a bit of mystic. One never knows what he's going to say next. He says: "I am 42 this year. I was born in 1969. 1969 + 42 = 2011."
"And your point is?"
Well, according to Omar this mathematical phenomenon occurs only once every 823 years. It foretells a year of catastrophic upheaval with governments overthrown, dynasties destroyed, earthquakes, famine, pestilence; chaos. Not just in the Middle East, but everywhere, all over the world. Oh, and October will be the worst month...
I felt a delicious shiver down my spine. My throat went dry, my scalp crept. I felt the flames of hell starting to lick round my feet - just as I used to feel them when I was told from the pulpit at home: Repent for the end of the world is nigh....
I said: "I'm still not telling you what age I am."

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