Blog Post #51: Forever Young

Dear Readers,

This particular blog post is dedicated not only to my youngest sister (whose birthday is coming the day after tomorrow), but also to Jan & Jenny (friends I’ve met through my new school), and to Isabelle, one of my talented Maths students who also has a flair for Art. Most of all, this post is dedicated to Ronald Gallacher, a really kind friend in Scotland whom I first met way back before and during our teens at high school in Dundee. The school is no longer there, but I am grateful for all the good teachers, student friends, and for everyone whom I have known for a longer or shorter time. Many dearly-loved people have passed on to an ever better place that God has prepared for all of us. When He brings us to His heavenly home, we will be forever young and happy there with God.


Ronald told me last month that he has some interest in the number 150. So, here comes a couple of nice, wee Maths surprises featuring 150, for Ronald and all readers to enjoy!

  • Start with 365, the number of days in 2019.
  • Divide by 1000.
  • Add on my favourite number, 3 (on a calculator, now press ENTER before doing the next steps).
  • Now multiply by 4, the number of letters in LOVE.
  • Finally, multiply by 150, especially for Ronald.

The final result is to wish everyone a wonderful 2019.

The second fun surprise celebrates, just a couple of days early now, the birthday coming on Monday of my youngest sister. The numbers will get quite large, so I’m going to put on my boxing gloves for this one!

  • Start with “Ronald’s special” 150.
  • Subtract 47, my youngest sister’s current age, and then press ENTER if using a calculator.
  • Multiply by my favourite number, 3.
  • Now multiply by 7, the number of letters in FOREVER.
  • Finally, multiply by 13, the total number of letters in HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

The final result is to wish my youngest sister a very happy birthday on Monday, 28.1.19.

Another “150 surprise” to look out for is a collection of 150 paintings and poems by Jenny Spanoghe, the wife of Jan Van Landeghem, a music theory teacher colleague and friend of mine. In just a few months from now, Jenny’s book will be published together with a CD of Jan’s songs. The beautiful image below shows part of their book cover. (Only a small apostrophe needs to be added to the word musicians, but the collection of art, poetry and music is sure to be fabulous.)

Thinking of my youngest sister’s final 2 days now as a 47-year-old also makes me think of a talented Maths student named Isabelle who scored (47×2)%=94% on a tricky test last week. Afterwards, Isabelle enjoyed relaxing and creating the following delightful pencil drawing within the space of a few minutes.

Here now from Christophe Gillain, another colleague of mine, is a stunning aerial photo of Musica Mundi School, where we work in Waterloo, Belgium.

With that cool photo, I’ll round off this blog post with very warm wishes to everyone for a wonderful weekend now xxx

Author: Paul A. Motwani

My name is Paul Motwani, but my colleagues, my students and their parents mostly call me "Mr. Mo"! My middle initial, A, stands for Anthony, because I was born on the official feast day of St. Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of miracles and of lost souls. I love teaching Mathematics and Chess, and giving fun-packed talks and shows in schools and clubs. The popular ingredients of Math, Chess, Mystery and Magic are my "Fantastic Four", and I give prizes too! I am an International Chess Grandmaster, and (loooooong ago!) I was the World Under-17 Champion. I am the author of five published chess books and hundreds of newspaper articles. I live with my wonderful wife and son in Belgium. I also love music, movies and puzzles. I blog at My e-mail address is You can find me on Facebook, too.

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