Are we there yet?

PUBLISHED: 12:18 27 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:34 06 May 2010

Are you ready for the family holiday?

Are you ready for the family holiday?

HURRAH! The school holidays are here. For children this means what feels like an endless stretch of nothing more than sun, ice cream and playing outside. For their parents it more than likely feels like an endless stretch of thinking what on earth to do w

HURRAH! The school holidays are here.

For children this means what feels like an endless stretch of nothing more than sun, ice cream and playing outside.

For their parents it more than likely feels like an endless stretch of thinking what on earth to do with x number of children without breaking the bank.

And then there is the family holiday - an occasion for everyone to spend some quality time together, which is fair enough if you can make it through the inevitable long car journey without killing each other.

Because a universal truth of long journeys is that one or more child will, at some point, utter the words 'are we nearly there yet?'

I don't actually have children but my brother and I did it as kids and I am assured that nippers do still ask this highly irritating question.

Well, to all you long suffering parents out there - fear not, because some mathematic bod has come up with an equation to help you out in this situation.

Professor Dwight Barkley of Warwick University has devised a calculation to help figure out how long into the car journey it will be before a little one utters the inevitable question.

Apparently, it goes something like this: one, plus the number of activities to do divided by the number of children in the car squared.

In order to reach the final sum, you then have to add this figure to the time it took the family to get into the car and set off on their journey.

Now personally, I'm thoroughly confused by all this but if anyone is going on a long journey with children and has nothing better to do, perhaps they'd like to give it a go and let me know if it actually works.

I suspect it will possibly come back as a load of old nonsense.

Apparently Prof Barkley reckons that maths can "help answer many of life's questions".

Well, I might not have to sort out kids on long journeys, but there are questions which I face on a daily basis and I'm pretty sure there's not an equation out there to help me.

For example, what would be the formula to help me solve the puzzle of what to wear in the morning?

And how is maths going to get me a job on the Guardian?

Then there's the big one - is there an equation out there to make Orlando Bloom fall in love with me?

Anyway, we all know that the only formula that counts when it comes to children asking 'are we nearly there yet?' is: kids + hot car + long trip = major headache for parents.

And equally we all know the solution: parents - kids (in bed) + large glass of wine = heaven.


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