In the past week, I’ve checked off four birthday list items. I was an overnight guest at a monastery; I tried foot reflexology; I finished the book Appointment in Samarra; I bought my first left-handed knife.

My monastery experience will be a separate post, coming soon. I think my foot reflexology experience was really just a thorough foot massage. That was fine with me.  Appointment in Samarra (#22 on the Modern Library’s Top 100 Novels list) was a story of boozy, privileged discontent. And the knife!

The knife. Life changing. I’ve always felt a little out of control when using sharp kitchen utensils, which may be part of the reason why I don’t cook much. Opening a bottle of wine with a corkscrew was always near impossible for me. Come to find out that it’s because as a left hander, I turn it counter-clockwise when it’s supposed to be turned clockwise.

I bought a left-handed bread knife online because I was curious to see if it made a difference. Whenever I cut slices off a bread loaf, they are at a serious angle. Well, was there a difference with the left-handed knife! The control I felt left me awestruck. The slice I cut was perfectly straight. Here’s why.

Anything Lefthanded in the U.K. is a godsend! Someday I will have a dream kitchen with left-handed peelers and paring knives…