Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Left, right or in-between?

King George 6 was left handed

My mother was born in 1910 January 21st one of thirteen siblings, brothers and sisters. It seems she had a disability (a curse back in the old days) she was left handed!

There were all sorts of superstitions about being left handed. Her mother had enough to worry about bringing up a bakers dozen, so it wasn't really a problem for Amelia Alice (Mothers name) no one seemed to notice she had this affliction until she started school, her first day must have been traumatic. When it was noticed she wasn't writing on her slate with her right hand the action was to have her left hand tied behind her back during classes, which must have been more than uncomfortable, but over time she got used to the routine and coped quite well, actually she was able to use both hands to write with no effort at all.

Even King George 6 was beaten and food taken by His Nanny because he was left handed!

 As soon as I was old enough to use my hands apparently I used my left hand, but, thank goodness there wasn't a stigma by then. The only thing Mum worried about was table manners, using the knife and fork the way right-handers did, right hand with the knife and left hand with the fork. I was quite proud of myself to achieve that little drill.

Left hander writing this Blog! 
My biggest fear was meeting people that were new to me especially when my Aunt Olga took me out for a treat and introduced me to a friend or neighbour. I would cringe slightly backing behind her when she would say, “Barbara shake hands with the lady and say pleased to meet you”.  My mind would go blank and out would shoot my left hand. Always my Aunt apologized and say in a whisper, “She's left handed you know, but she'll grow out of it. Won't you dear!” If she only knew what was in my mind at the time, as a 6 or 7 year old I had heard a few swear words, but always smiled sweetly saying, “Oh yes I will learn.”

My son, a left hander painting
See his work
I think the only time people. notice left-handers especially in women is when using a knife to cut or peel vegetables, or  when I crochet or sew with a needle, they seem to have a sort of fascination watching and not connecting to the fact that it's my left hand!

Left-handedness has now become acceptable thank goodness, my son is left handed and a grandchild too. I wonder why it seems to be handed down through the generations? Perhaps it's a missing link.



  1. Mike, hubby and Russ, son are also Lefties so I do think it runs in families. Mike has a pair of scissors which are made for lefties and I have the biggest job trying to use them . Lefties always benefit because they seeem to be able to use both hands much better than us righties.
    Nice blog.

  2. What a small world! I am a lefty too, although I use my right hand for scissors and knitting. I crochet left handed. Mixed up, I know. I think that most right handed people don't even think about the frustration for lefties as in using soup ladles, butter knives and some salad forks.
    My first name is also Barbara, though I've never gone by it.
    Thanks for visiting my wee spot. I truly appreciate it.