Di Riddell - Your Voice Matters

Di Riddell

Your Voice Matters - Confidence Beyond 50

Celebrating International Left-Handers Day August 13th… Being A Left Hander, Molly-Duker Or South Paw –


Yes I am one, yes I have suffered, yes I have survived and prospered with my sense of humour intact!

And yes I know I am a day early!

There is no denying it left-handers are out there. However despite being 10% of the population society forgets us, It is a right-handed world  it is right-handed utensils, cooking and cutting implements that are ALL for the right-handed…

On the eve of  International Left-Handers Day. I would like to mention a few little known facts in our favour. We lefties have endured a serious amount of prejudice, you know like a less than positive connotation like molly duker and south paw. Today many left-hander including me are proud of their unusual handedness.


International Left handers day 13th August  and little known facts ane being confident


  1. We hear speeches differently research shows people using their left hands when listening hear rapidly changing sounds and intonations
  2. Left-Handed Neanderthals Were the Minority, Too . How did they know? The wear and tear on your teeth is different to right-handed folk. By locating the wear and tear on those prehistoric chompers it can be determined it they used their left or right hand.
  3. We are more inclined to shine in the creative arts
  4. WE vote for left -handers – a high percentage of recent US President’s were left-handed and it is thought a left-handed politician has an advantage in a televised debate. As a whole we associate the right-handed gestures as ‘good;’ and the left as ‘bad’. On TV it is a mirror image.
  5. Lefties have an advantage in sport that involve two opponents facing each other such as tennis and boxing.
  6. The sight of us using a cutting or carving knife drives right-handed people crazy…. they can’t wait to hop in and help out.
  7. We get embarrassed more easily  and tend to be more inhibited and shy. left-hander’s are more likely to hesitate where right-handers tend to jump right in.
  8. Lefties tend to like a cold drink on a hot day
  9. We have our own day, mark your calendar  August 13th is International left- handers Day. First launched in 1992 the UK-based Left-Hander’s Club to increase awareness about the left-handed lifestyle. According to the group’s Web site, it’s a day “when left-handers everywhere can celebrate their sinistrality and increase public awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed.”
  10. Lefties are not going anywhere… will we fade away? Noooooooooooo we have been in the minority and being less common we have the surprise effect. Get used to us!


left hand, wine, celebrate

And lastly Di’s reason… it is not good news for anyone sitting on my left at dinner… I tend to help them with their wine intake by picking up the glass on my left. … I am generous like that.  And this glass must be mine it has ice in it!

How could we celebrate the occasion? Create a ‘leftie zone’ – a special personal space where everything is set up in a left-handed fashion from work to using your knife and fork… and a pair of scissors. What fun that would be!!!!

Deliciously wicked of me I know but I loved it recently my son donated me with a pair of scissors. he had inadvertently bought left-handed ones and could not use them. A taste for the right-handed on how our world unfolds.

And even more wicked…Did you know we are all born left-handed? You turn right-handed when you make your first mistake.

OK I will be good now… a few words…OK more than a few of my left-handed life experiences that…well perhaps I could say they were character building

I felt the breeze before the brunt of the metal edge of the wooden ruler hit as it swished through the air before it came crashing down on my knuckles….as my  5-year-old eyes watered and my hand throbbed …I thought what was my crime? Picking up the pencil in my left hand. I did not even realise it was my left hand because I got confused between my left and right hands. It was simply the hand I used to colour in and draw.

As I sat there tears rolling down my cheeks I wondered why, why, why was it so wrong to pick up a pencil in ‘that’ hand.

Today I ask myself did that set the scene for my  unusual handwriting? I often hear the comment…’ It looks neat but I can’t read it.’

Then I saw this image … and what  a beauty! Written just for me I think.

                                  I don’t have bad hand writing…I have my own font.

  left handers, International left hander Day


Did this happen to anyone else when they started school? Yes, it happened to me and countless thousands of others who started school in the 1950’s. The excitement of going to school waned quickly as my knuckles suffered on a daily basis.

This ‘training’ apparently was for ‘my own good’  Miss Lowe, the googly-eyed, enormous  frightening teacher towering over me BELLOWED. She delighted in pointing out my ‘crime’ to the rest of the class. …That pain extended beyond the classroom. If that was not torment enough, horror of horrors was the maypole dance…Each of us round a pole with a coloured streamer and the idea was steps to the left and steps to the right in sequence…I did not remember the sequence, nor which foot to put forward…gee I wonder why????

You can guess what I am going to say…left, left, right and there I would be with the wrong foot forward going in the wrong direction.  Again I felt the  breeze before the brunt of the metal edge of the wooden ruler  as it swished through the air before it came crashing down across the back of my legs.

Imagine doing that to a child today? I know we really can’t place today’s values on yesterdays actions…but that was a tough gig for a kid.

‘Straighten up your page Dianna’ would be the next bellow to fly across the room. Yes like many left handers…I turn the page at an angle to write. So can you imagine there I sat with the book straight, pencil in my right hand….how did I know which was right? By this time my stinging knuckles helped give me a clue.

To say it was pure hell….is an understatement. To say I did not care would be to tell a porkie of massive proportions! Thank goodness it no longer standard practice…

Next time someone has a ‘point of view’ about your handwriting…you may like to borrow the phrase I don’t have bad hand writing…I have my own font.  And just keep writing…


left handers, International Left hand day 13th August

If you are a left- hander and of a certain age (how is that for delicate)…I would love to hear your experiences of learning to write and coping in a right-handed world.


Warm regards and I really do love my right-handed friends…Di…