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 pageĀ  ( 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.