Neil Skene: When you get your left and right wrong…

Neil Skene

Now we are in the heart of the so-called summer – tennis, cricket and the start of football again – I am regularly asked about blind people and co-ordination.

Many people get their lefts and rights mixed up when giving directions or instructions – especially when facing the person they are trying to help as you have to think in reverse.

This could and can lead into dangerous or embarrassing situations.

One incident that comes to my mind is when I was abroad on holiday.  I’m not the best swimmer, but when holidaying and soaking up the heat, I enjoy nothing more than cooling off in the pool.

On this particular occasion I had just got in and my wife, sitting on her sun lounger, was paying special attention while giving me instructions as I made my way slowly up the pool.

After calling out, “go left, go left”, and finally shouting, “go left”.  I replied “I’m going left”, she then replied sheepishly “well try right then!”

Wondering why she was so irate about my swimming, when I was following her inaccurate instructions, and failing to see how I could be in the wrong, I got to the side and asked, “what’s up, why were you shouting and drawing attention to my swimming?”

She finally explained that all the other sun-bathers had put down their books, magazines and drinks, eagerly watching to see if I would actually collide with the topless bather sleeping at the edge of the pool. Not sure who would have got the biggest fright, but you can be sure my swimming quickly improved.