Elevenses

Possibly the finest meal between the 10 o’clock, post-breakfast snack and the cook’s “perks” consumed while lunch is being prepared around noon.

Today is sponsored by the number eleven – well, it is for those of us using the Gregorian calendar and base ten – with many becoming rather over-excited by its prevalence within today’s date.  However, given that the base year for our dating system, the start of the year and the start of each month are all effectively arbitrary choices, it is hard to see how the date can have any real significance.

Curiously, the number eleven seems a popular choice of team size for sports developed (or so we like to claim) in these fair isles.  I am at a loss to explain why this particular prime number has been so favoured – nor why the heirs to William Webb-Ellis found it to provide insufficient players once you were permitted to handle the ball.

M-Theory suggests that eleven is the total number of dimensions required to make a universe – though this remains far from proven today (seven are currently missing, assumed to be folded up very small – or perhaps down the back of a sofa somewhere).  So, it seems unlikely that cosmology can have acted as an inspiration to those who first codified our more popular team sports in the 19th century.

I can only assume that the use of eleven players was another arbitrary choice – maybe the committee writing the rules were feeling a little peckish and were subconsciously influenced by the need for some cake (or biscuits) and a cuppa in the longueur between breakfast and lunch.  I think Freud may have rather under-estimated the influence of cake on human behaviour (he seemed rather obsessed with our baser instincts), or am I over-generalising from my own motivations?

Feel free to continue the lunacy...

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