Readers' letters - September 7
We left-handers have to get used to a right-hand world
I note there are efforts to help left-handed children in learning to write.
However, as a left-hander myself, I think it is very important that not too much emphasis is placed on this.
Left-handers will, throughout their lives, have to get used to living in a right-handed world.
There is no help on a day-to-day basis.
If children grow up thinking there is, they will be sadly mistaken.
Writing in English itself is right-handed.
If you are left-handed, you have to push a pen rather than pull, and you can’t see what you have just written.
Books are right-handed.
Cheque books (remember them?) were particularly difficult.
A wired computer mouse is set on the right.
Scissors, tin openers and potato peelers are right-handed.
Yes, you can buy left-handed versions but they are expensive and not always available to you.
ATMs are right-handed.
The only thing I can think of that is left-handed is the gear lever and hand brake in a right-hand drive car.
The righties are even designing these out.
I could go on, but please don’t treat left-handed children as having a disability because, as they grow older, they will have to get used to a right-handed world.
Raising epilepsy awareness
I listened recently to a radio phone-in where a woman called to say that many years ago she was refused entrance to a grammar school because she was epileptic.
Under the Matrimony Act of 1937, a person could not marry if they suffered with epilepsy because they were not deemed to be of sound mind.
Both cases highlight the discrimination that existed against those with epilepsy.
Over 40 years ago, I worked with a woman who had epileptic fits and it was not a pretty sight to witness one. There is no cure and, in some cases, medication is not effective. In the UK, 1,000 people a year die from epilepsy-related causes. Many are young and in the prime of their lives.
To understand epilepsy, I would like to recommend to your readers a book I borrowed from my local library, A smell of burning. It is a memoir of epilepsy written by Colin Grant, whose teenage brother Christopher was diagnosed with epilepsy.
Many famous people were epileptic – Julius Caesar, Joan of Arc, Edward Lear, Van Gogh, Lenin, Neil Young and many more. Colin pays tribute to the pioneering doctors who helped give an understanding of how the brain works, and, through the tragic tale of his brother, he considers the effect of epilepsy on his own life.
Time to ban plastic bags
I support the banning of supermarket plastic bags, I always keep a supply of reusables in the boot!
However, I would also include the charity plastic bags pushed through letterboxes at regular intervals.
During 2016, I counted the charity bags (how sad is that?) and we were the recipients of 55 such bags, 11 of which were from the same charity. These comprise a large sack which is probably the equivalent of three carrier bags, each contained in a small plastic envelope which is only any good for sending to landfill.
In order to do my bit for the environment, I put them on a shelf in the garage and have more than 100. Sometime I will need to dispose of them.
I would suggest these are much more of a problem to the future of the planet than plastic carrier bags and should also be banned.