In early June the United Kingdom spent four days celebrating seventy years of the Queen’s service. There were many events going on all over the country – street parties and general fun. In our village we had a party on the field with lots of stalls and some music. A large music concert, the trooping of the colour, a Red Arrows display, a heritage fly pass (see above) and large parades took place in London with lots of appearances of members of the Royal family including the Queen who was rather frail and had to cancel one or two engagements.

My initial reaction to all of this was to escape to somewhere quiet. However, I really do admire the Queen and am grateful for everything that she has done for us. I found myself being far more interested than I’d expected. We enjoyed the four-day break and spent a couple of days cycling out in the sun and enjoying some lovely lunches. One of these was at a café and the other was at a rather nice pub.

Anyway, all of this has meant that the number 70 will be the focus of this blog post. Now the interesting part. Where will the number 70 take me? I haven’t tried Ryanair before. Flight FR70 flies from Naples to Milan. I’ll try Naples first.


City of Naples –

What do I know about Naples? Not that much. I’ve flown in and out of the airport for a group holiday to the Amalfi coast and we spent no time in Naples at all. From the coach it looked a bit of a dump and I wasn’t optimistic about this part of the post. The idea is to do a little research about a destination and see whether I’d like to pay it a visit. As I’ve visited the local tourist attractions – Pompeii, Capri etc. – I wondered what I’d do.

The wonderful thing about looking into a place you hadn’t planned on doing is that you can be surprised. And I was for Naples – big time!

One thing I absolutely did not expect to find was that Naples is good for cycling! Wow! My experience of Italian roads in places such as Rome – even as a pedestrian – has been terrifying. But Naples has a lot of bike-friendly space – and there’s a ride right by the sea! I became quite giddy reading all about it. Here are some suggested routes.

And then there’s the food. I really do love Italian food and however good the restaurant in Britain is the food is rarely a patch on that you find in Italy. Interestingly, as Naples is less touristy than nearby Sorrento I would expect the food to be more authentic. I love to eat where the locals eat as – even if the place looks scruffy – you can get the most fantastic food. One time in Genoa we asked the receptionist at our hotel where the locals ate. He wrote down the name of a little place. It was tiny and there were people queuing up outside – twenty at a time. I’m not a desserts person but I remember eating the best cheesecake I’d ever had. And ravioli too. A wonderful place. I believe that Naples would be full of such places. This article suggests food to eat in Naples.

And what would I like to see in Naples? Here are some suggestions. It is full of beautiful piazzas and buildings. I haven’t been to Mount Vesuvius before and would love to take a trip up here and look at the view from the top and perhaps poke my head over the top and have a look inside. My husband would like to see all the usual sites too.

The answer to whether I’d like to go to Naples is a definite yes – and a 10/10 yes. And this is such a surprise for a city that I hadn’t given any thought to before. Interestingly, there was a Rick Stein weekend travel programme to Palermo, Sicily the other day. The food and scenery there also looked fantastic and it isn’t very far away from Naples. I figured that the cycling would be very good as there are a lot of mountains. However, I met someone at the weekend who has cycled long distances around the Sicilian coast and couldn’t recommend it highly enough. So I now picture a two-centre holiday with spectacular cycling and fantastic food in both locations.

Weird Numbers

Apparently 70 is the lowest weird number. Poor number 70 – who labels these numbers? I feel as if they’re being picked on. Anyway, why is 70 and its peers considered weird? A number is considered weird if it is both abundant but not semiperfect.

In other words, the sum of the proper divisors (divisors including 1 but not itself) of the number is greater than the number (abundant), but no subset of those divisors sums to the number itself (not semiperfect).

Examples always help. In the case of 20: it has proper divisor 1, 2, 4, 5, 10 and 1 + 2 + 4 + 5 + 10 = 20 and is thus abundant. However, 1 + 4 + 5 + 10 = 20 so 20 is also semiperfect.

What are the proper divisors of 70?

These are 1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 14, 35

There sum is 1 + 2 + 5 + 7 + 10 + 14 + 35 = 74 and so 70 is abundant.

But there is no subset sum of these proper divisors that adds to 70. A quick way is to see if we can remove 4 from the above sum (i.e. to reduce the sum from 74 to 70). And this just isn’t possible. So poor old 70 is considered weird.

The weird numbers are:

70, 836, 4030, 5830, 7192, 7912, 9272, 10430, 10570, 10792, 10990, 11410, 11690, 12110, 12530, 12670, 13370, 13510, 13790, 13930 and so on

Last Thoughts

Apart from the poor weird numbers this has been an enjoyable post to write. The Platinum Jubilee celebrations were fun and the thought of a trip to Naples with our tandem is definitely something that I’d like to do and even better if it’s combined with a trip to Sicily.