My grandma was truly ambidextrous, and I am a little. I eat with my knife in my right hand, my fork in my left, I write with my right hand but I pour drinks with my left; I open doors with my left, when I’m painting walls I swap my brush from hand to hand, and when I am ironing I can never quite decide in which hand to hold the iron.

I wonder if this is what confuses me with left and right, why coming out of somewhere I know well i turn the wrong way? Just recently I had ‘an incident’ in Wells. This is what I wrote to a friend who works in Waterstones bookshop in Weston, otherwise known as Westonstones:

I went to Wells yesterday and obviously I dropped into Waterstones to see if it’s as good as Westonstones. I came out and saw my daughter’s favourite store along the street had a sale on so I went to have a look. I came out continued my amble and there was another Waterstones!
Incredible!! Fancy having two Waterstones in such a small place! I had to go in to check it out to see if it was any different or maybe specialised in a particular subject… but it looked pretty much the same… in fact it looked identical… in fact…

I think you can guess the rest… I’m sure there’s something wrong with me!

Ambidextrousness is also known as cross-dominance, which can be mixed dominance, or increased hand efficiency… I think that is what I have; my left hand is not as dexterous as my right, but it is much more able than many other people’s left hands (if they are left-handed) Many ambidextrous people were born left-handed but for whatever reason have become right-handed; in the olden days left-handed children were forced, sometimes quite brutally to use their right not their left hands. Cross dominance can also refer to other parts of the body which people might favour, such as people playing sports might be stronger on their left side.

My cousin who is also grandson to our ambidextrous grandma, is a real mix; he writes with his left hand, holds his knife and fork as a right-hander, plays cricket by batting with one side dominant and bowling with the other (how to confuse the opposition!) and does various other things with seeming random choice of which hand to use.

Simon cooking sausages.

Simon using both hands.

A professor was asked whether being ambidextrous increases or improves brain function… he said it probably doesn’t… I don’t believe him, well of course I don’t!

7 thoughts on “Ambidexterous

  1. What you describe about yourself resonates with my experience Lois. As a child I wrote equally left or right handed but gradually settled on right for the writing task. I play golf and cricket as a batsman with my left but bowl right handed. I notice that I favour left for wine pouring. I am OK with left or right with a range of tasks, like your cousin. I challenged, I am sure I would say that for most things I favour my right hand….but the fact is, I seem to be OK with either….except for writing these days!!

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    • Lois I used the wrong email address i think, so I am repeating my response. Sorry!

      What you describe about yourself resonates with my experience Lois. As a child I wrote equally left or right handed but gradually settled on right for the writing task. I play golf and cricket as a batsman with my left but bowl right handed. I notice that I favour left for wine pouring. I am OK with left or right with a range of tasks, like your cousin. I challenged, I am sure I would say that for most things I favour my right hand….but the fact is, I seem to be OK with either….except for writing these days!!

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      • Just thinking about past conversations with friends and colleagues, i suspect that there might be many people who exhibit it in a small way.

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  2. Your account of your visit to Wells made me laugh, though I’m not sure if it was due to your being ambidextrous, more like wool-gathering of which I am often guilty. My latest example of this was in relation to the ingrowing toe-nail which I’m waiting to have treated. I was checking on it recently and thought that it looked much improved and then I realised I was looking at the wrong foot!

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