• Paul Rutherford


Updated: Jun 10

Paper, cotton, leather, wood. Crystal, china, silver, pearl. Ruby, gold, and diamond. Surprisingly, the Soma cube hasn’t made the wedding anniversary gift list.


The Soma cube was created by Danish mathematician and designer Piet Hein. It’s a puzzle of six pieces with four cubes, and one piece of three. The pieces of the Soma cube consist of all possible combinations of three or four unit cubes, joined at their faces, forming at least one inside corner. The pieces can be arranged into various shapes - a ‘bed’, a ‘chair’, a 'snake' - and combined into one complete larger cube.

A larger cube of smaller cubes. 3 x 3 x 3 = 27.

For Mrs J and me and marriage, it was ‘twenty-seven years ago today’ (with apologies to Sgt. Pepper).

Mrs J will be embarrassed when she reads this. ”Why didn’t you just give me a card?”. Introverts don’t like to be in the spotlight. But she deserves some public acknowledgement for her many memorable qualities: * Carrying and raising three children, while losing two along the way; * Not batting an eyelid when this main income earner has been ‘let go’ twice, and ‘stepped down’ twice more, without a clear plan as next step; * Keeping the family ship afloat after my unfortunate Christmas fund-raising accident (a cerebral haematoma), and; * The past three years of support during and after Streptococcus infection, double cardiac surgery, an ischaemic stroke, and several seizures. (Hence the resonance of the three-cube piece.*) Some close friends have paid me the compliment of 'getting through all this'. It’s much appreciated, but on this newly-named Soma anniversary let me tell you a simple truth. Quietly, graciously, unselfishly, Mrs J has always been at the centre of the cube, always getting me back into shape. Thank you, as ever. P x

Mrs J, first time in London, 1982

*NB - each unit cube has 12 edges. One for each month?

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