Saturday, 21 June 2008

Percentages at the Dinner Table

It's funny how much simpler some things are when they crop up in everyday life than how I remember them being taught at school.

Somehow a conversation about percentages cropped up as we were all sat at the table eating dinner tonight. I'm not sure how it started but it was something along the lines of ds1 saying he'd had a certain percentage of 100% 'because it's always out of 100% isn't it?'.

Me: 'Percentage just shows how many of something out of 100 there are. So if you had 100 donuts and ate 5 of them, you would have eaten 5% of the total number of donuts.'

Ds1:'But it doesn't have to be 100 of something, does it? If you had 25,000 donuts you could still work out the percentage couldn't you?'.

Me: 'Yes, percentages are good because you can apply them to any amount. So for example if something you bought was 50% off, how good would that be?'

Ds1: 'That's half-price!...So, is that like "buy one get one free"?'

Dh: ' Yes it's still 50% off, or half price'.

me: 'well unless you only wanted one of the items and not two!'

Ds1:'Then it's 100%.'

Me: 'So what if it's "buy 2 get 1 free"?'

Ds1:{groan}'That's too hard.'

Dh: 'No it's not, it's just division.'


Dh: 'But it's like when you had your tuck shop and you had to work out how much each pack of crisps cost when you bought a pack of 24.'

me: 'That's just division and that was ok.'

Ds1:'But that's different: I used a calculator'

Dh: 'I use a calculator alot at work.

Ds1: 'That's one of my MOST favouritist things in technology - the calculator!'


I think I've just undone all the good work of my recent frugalness (is that a word?). After years of camping with just a basic cool box (or, more often, a simple bucket of water) I have blown some cash and bought an electric cool box. I've always resisted - it seemed such a silly luxurious waste of money. Hey, what kind of fair weather camper needs an electric coolbox?! Well, apparently, it seems that we do :) We've always managed camping by having to buy new milk and other food every day, or putting up with runny butter and gone offish humous! But now, having spent 40 quid, it looks like this spells the start of middle age and the end of my minimalist camping days. Well, that's a lie...we've never had minimalist camping days, not since we've had children.

So, here we go again. Once more, we'll be the family that turns up at the campsite with everything but the kitchen sink - but this time WITH an electric coolbox! And once again we'll probably be embarrassed by our charming minimalist neighbours who'll turn up with a simple yurt, a stove and some rugs! Ah at least I'll have the satisfaction of knowing that among all their minimalism, they'll have some very runny butter and some going-offish humous!

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