How to do (almost) anything with one hand

It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. While I do not entirely disagree with this statement, in my case it has often been stubbornness and a strident desire to prove the world wrong that has led to my proudest achievements of one-handed innovation.

As an early example: shortly after my initial release from hospital my parents took me to the local tandoori restaurant for lunch as a treat after the weeks of N.H.S. food.

When my chicken korma arrived at the table I was both ravenous and sick of having people cut up food for me to eat so I quickly thought about how to solve the problem of there being a whole chicken breast on my plate that needed cutting into more manageable pieces. This here is the one piece of advice that will help you accomplish seemingly impossible tasks single-handed:

Think about exactly what your second hand would be doing in this situation and try to think of another way to achieve that using a different body part or another object.

In the case of the chicken I took the handle of the fork between my teeth and stabbed the tines into the chicken, holding it like that while I used the knife in my usable hand to cut up the food. While this is not ideally done in the best dining establishments it is an example of the principle mentioned above.

While on the subject of Asian food I will share another example of a simple “tweak” that can make eating much easier. Whenever possible I eat rice dishes from a bowl rather than a plate as it is much easier to chase the rice around and capture it using the sides than on the relatively flat surface of a plate.

On my Instagram page  ( also linked to the right) I have posted a quick and dirty video of myself doing my hair using this principle: I used to use my left hand to hold the hair in place while I secured it with a clip. Now I substitute a wall or similar surface for the hand and it works quite well.

I will soon film a better version of that clip which I will post on this blog.

I will sign off this post with yet another tip involving the food of Asia. When eating out it is wise to opt for a cuisine generally eaten with chopsticks, e.g., Chinese, Japanese, Korean. Because diners do not have knives at the table the chef cuts everything into bite sized pieces designed to be picked up with one hand in the chopsticks. Don’t worry if you are not adept at using chopsticks: the food will be easily eaten using just a fork or spoon. When I visited Japan I didn’t feel ashamed of my skills even when a waiter rushed over to offer me a fork mid-meal. My general thinking is that I am doing well if the majority of the food ends up in my mouth.

About Me

Your friendly guide


My name is Laura Q..  I live at the foot of the beautiful  Ochil Hills in the Forth Valley area of Central Scotland.

In August of 1997, when I was seventeen years old , I suffered a massive stroke which left roughly half my brain as useless scar tissue.

In the immediate aftermath the left-hand side of my body was completely paralysed and I could barely sit up in bed without becoming unbearably dizzy never mind standing or walking.

One of my first thoughts on becoming aware that I could no longer move my left arm was: “How will I play guitar now?”. Somehow, in that traumatic time it never crossed my mind that much more mundane tasks like eating and getting dressed would be much greater obstacles.

Over the following months and years I gradually regained some function with the help of some wonderfully dedicated physiotherapists and occupational therapists to the point where I walk unaided and can move my left arm at the shoulder and elbow enough to dress myself but the hand and wrist have remained stubbornly uncooperative for over two decades now.


While the world can be grateful that I never have found a way to massacre “Wish You Were Here” on the guitar, I have developed myriad techniques for accomplishing various tasks with one hand which is what I will be sharing with you here.


While I have not been in employment for many years I have never been one for doing nothing and in the years since the stroke I have:

Met and married a truly wonderful man who is unerringly patient and supportive,  and even agreed to marrying on the eighth anniversary of my stroke to turn that date from being the anniversary of the worst day of my life into being the anniversary of the best;

Completed an H.N.D. in Computing (Support);

Volunteered as an administrative assistant for a national charity;

Worked in I.T. Support for a university;

Worked as a secretary for a charity;

Volunteered in a charity book and music shop;

Volunteered with a hospital radio station, including presenting my own show;

Designed and set up a Website for a local charity;

Completed several courses with The Open University;

Gained a Foundation Amateur Radio Licence

and travelled extensively both within the U.K. and internationally.


This blog is part of my latest attempt to live as full and productive a life as possible despite my limitations.



Hello and welcome to where I will share my tips, tricks and techniques for successfully living with the use of only one hand.