One, two, buckle my shoe. From the earliest of our days we hear about numbers. Three, four, knock at the door. Numbers are everywhere; they describe our world. Ton-up, megabyte, 3-D, fourth estate, fifth column… Five, six, pick up sticks. Cashier number nine, please, ‘ten items or less’[sic] buy-one-get-one-free. Seven, eight, interest rate; ‘the pound is worth…’ ‘the FTSE ended…’ ‘At the third stroke’, count your blessings; you just won’t thrive without numbers. Telephone numbers, house numbers, personal identification numbers, National Insurance numbers. Nine, ten… a big, fat zero.