Spitting on my Hand

When I first moved away from home and to university I ended up spitting on my hand and arm a lot. It took me quite a while (about a month) to figure out what was going on!

At my ancestral home the basin in the bathroom has two taps. Nothing unusual there but the problem was that the cold tap was on the left and the hot tap was on the right of the basin. Now, I’ll pause while you go and check your taps.

I’m left handed and so brush my teeth with my left hand. Not unusual again. My left-handedness is a bit tempremental as I eat whichever way around suits the food on the plate and I play most sports with my right hand. Anyway, I would brush my teeth and then spit while I was rinsing the toothbrush – left hand holding the toothbrush under the cold tap on the left of the basin leaving the sink bit clear into which to spit.

In 1991 I head off to college halls and move away from home for the first time. I stayed in Falmouth-Keogh Halls of Residence in the glorious Southside building. It is no more, they snuffed it! The taps on the basin in my room were, what I now understand, to be the correct way around. The cold tap in on the right and the hot tap is on the left. I do not know where this convention came from but I find it interesting.

When I brushed my teeth for my first month at college I ended up spitting on my hand. I would put the toothbrush to rinse in my left hand under the cold tap on the right of the basin and automatically spit into the basin at the same time as I had been conditioned to do so after living at the ancestral home for 11 years. This created a dilemma and I had to re-learn the timings of what to do and when whilst I was brushing my teeth. It took a while and in the 21 years since I headed to sunny South Kensington I have coped very well with taps the wrong way around, the correct (?) way around and also mixer taps!